High-speed commercial aircraft require a surface treatment for titanium (Ti) alloy that is both environmentally safe and durable under the conditions of supersonic flight. A number of pretreatment procedures for Ti alloy requiring multi-stages have been developed to produce a stable surface. Among the stages are, degreasing, mechanical abrasion, chemical etching, and electrochemical anodizing. These treatments exhibit significant variations in their long-term stability, and the benefits of each step in these processes still remain unclear. In addition, chromium compounds are often used in many chemical treatments and these materials are detrimental to the environment. Recently, a chromium-free surface treatment for Ti alloy has been reported, though not designed for high temperature applications. In the present study, a simple surface treatment process developed at NASA/LaRC is reported, offering a high performance surface for a variety of applications. This novel surface treatment for Ti alloy is conventionally achieved by forming oxides on the surface with a two-step chemical process without mechanical abrasion. This acid-followed-by-base treatment was designed to be cost effective and relatively safe to use in a commercial application. In addition, it is chromium-free, and has been successfully used with a sol-gel coating to afford a strong adhesive bond after exposure to hot-wet environments. Phenylethynyl containing adhesives were used to evaluate this surface treatment with sol-gel solutions made of novel imide silanes developed at NASA/LaRC. Oxide layers developed by this process were controlled by immersion time and temperature and solution concentration. The morphology and chemical composition of the oxide layers were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). Bond strengths made with this new treatment were evaluated using single lap shear tests.
Metals and Metallic Materials