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Material characterization of multi-layered Zn-alloy coatings on fasteners: Effects on corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity and friction
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Materials Science and Engineering.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Electroplated zinc-alloy coatings have been used on fasteners in the automotive industry for many years. The coating often consists of three layers: a zinc-alloy layer, a passivation layer and a sealer or top-coat. The coating layers affect the functional properties of the fastener (mainly the corrosion resistance, friction coefficient and electrical conductivity), and the aim of this thesis has been to increase the understanding of how these functional properties are affected by the properties of the coating.

The corrosion resistance, friction coefficient and electrical conductivity of several different fasteners have been tested. Variations in these properties are connected with morphological and chemical properties of the electro-deposited zinc-alloy coating, passivation layer and sealer/top-coat of the fasteners. Measurement methods include scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), light optical microscope (LOM), x-ray fluorescence (XRF), glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GD-OES), broad ion beam (BIB) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).

From the results it can be concluded that the surface structure of zinc-nickel layers differs significantly from supplier to supplier. Screws with a thicker and rougher zinc-nickel surface structure displays higher friction values, but lower electrical resistance values. Optimisation of both of these properties is thus challenging. The distribution and surface structure of the outmost top-coat layer also differs between suppliers, but no connection between this and the functional properties of the screw has been found. The corners of the screw heads are often lacking a proper zinc-alloy coating, and this is also where corrosion is initiated. In general, the zinc-nickel alloy coating systems are performing better and display less corrosion spreading effects than the zinc-iron or pure zinc systems in terms of corrosion.

Abstract [sv]

Elektropläterade zinklegeringsbeläggningar har använts på fästelement inom bilindustrin under många år. Beläggningen består ofta av tre skikt: ett zinklegeringsskikt, ett passiveringsskikt och en ”top-coat”, eller ”sealer”. Beläggningsskikten påverkar fästelementens funktionella egenskaper (främst korrosionsbeständighet, friktionskoefficient och elektrisk ledningsförmåga) och syftet med denna avhandling har varit att öka förståelsen för hur dessa funktionella egenskaper påverkas av ytbeläggningens egenskaper.

Korrosionsmotståndet, friktionskoefficienten och den elektriska ledningsförmågan hos flera olika fästelement har mätts. Variationer i dessa egenskaper kopplas till de morfologiska och kemiska egenskaperna hos den elektropläterade zinklegeringsskiktet, passiveringsskiktet och top-coat-skiktet hos fästelementen. Mätmetoder inkluderar svepelektronmikroskop och röntgenspektroskopi (SEMEDX), ljusoptiskt mikroskop (LOM), röntgenfluorescens (XRF), optisk strålningsspektroskopi (GD-OES), bred jonstråle (BIB) och Fourier-transformerad infraröd spektroskopi (FTIR).

Av resultaten kan man dra slutsatsen att ytstrukturen hos zink-nickelskiktet skiljer sig avsevärt från leverantör till leverantör. Skruvar med tjockare och hårdare zink-nickelytstruktur visar högre friktionsvärden, men lägre elektriska resistansvärden. Optimering av båda dessa egenskaper är således utmanande. Distributionen och ytstrukturen hos det yttersta top-coat-skiktet skiljer sig också mellan leverantörer, men ingen samband mellan detta och skruvens funktionella egenskaper har hittats. Skruvhuvudets hörn saknar ofta en lämplig zinklegeringsbeläggning, och det är också där korrosion initieras. I allmänhet fungerar zink-nickellegeringsbeläggningssystemen bättre och visar mindre spridningseffekter i termer av korrosion än zinkjärn eller rena zinksystem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 68
Series
TRITA-ITM-EX ; 2019:65
Keywords [en]
ZnNi, zinc alloy, multi-layered coating, electrodeposited coating, fasteners, corrosion resistance
National Category
Metallurgy and Metallic Materials
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-240956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-240956DiVA, id: diva2:1283276
External cooperation
Scania
Subject / course
Physical Metallurgy
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Materials Design and Engineering
Presentation
2018-06-04, SSS.B117 08 Hörsal​, Scania tekniskt centrum, Granparksvägen 10, Södertälje, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-02-07 Created: 2019-01-28 Last updated: 2019-02-11Bibliographically approved

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