University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Dale Barkey, Department of Chemical Engineering
The Chemical Resistance of Anodic Coating for Medical & Food Processing Applications
We propose to study the chemical resistance of the aluminum oxide coating that forms on aluminum metal when it is anodized. The structure of the oxide will be changed from an amorphous one to a more stable crystalline structure by submerging the aluminum oxide coating in lithium acetylacetonate solution. This solution will replace a small fraction of the aluminum atoms from the surface of the aluminum and replace them with lithium atoms. This process should increase the chemical resistance of the anodic coating. As a result basic substances such as cleaners and acidic chemicals common in food processing can contact the aluminum oxide coating without destroying it. Achieving this would benefit many industries such as the food, medical and auto industries. Medical equipment with anodic coatings such as those produced by Micralox provides stronger equipment which is very durable and has abrasive resistance allowing for multiple uses when washed properly. The auto industry would also benefit from this as aluminum provides a high strength to weight ratio that automotive companies search for, the added benefit of wear resistance increases the life time of the aluminum parts. The creation of a chemically resistant coating would decrease the use of raw materials since machinery and tools would have to be replaced less frequently, this creates a more environmentally conscious option.