• Stress-corrosion cracking susceptibility of polystyrene/TiO₂ nanocomposite coated thin-sheet aluminum alloy 2024-T3 with 3.5% NaCl

      Baart, Brian V.; Chen, Cheng-fu; Ahn, Il Sang; Zhang, Lei (2020-05)
      This thesis reports an investigation into the performance of nanocomposite coatings, which consist of titanium dioxide nanoparticles within a polystyrene matrix, on the resistance to stress-corrosion cracking (SCC). The coatings are applied to compact tension specimens subject to conditions that promote failure by (SCC). It has been well documented in the literature that high-strength aluminum alloys such as 2024- T3 are prone to SCC when exposed to chloride media and sufficient levels of stress. The use of polymerbased nanocomposite coatings to protect aluminum alloy 2024-T3 has recently been shown to exhibit anticorrosion properties, which has been motivation for further study. The performance of such coatings on SCC is thus investigated here, using a fracture mechanics approach with compact tension specimens. The specimens are subject to a slow strain rate test using a constant displacement rate of 1.25 nm/s while exposed to periodically supplied 3.5% wt. sodium chloride solution. Measurements of load and crackmouth opening displacement data are recorded from the specimen throughout the test and used to characterize the response of the material to the applied mechanical loading in a corrosive environment. Results from the methods used herein showed a quantitative influence derived from the test results for several criteria of interest such as maximum load, time-to-failure, and fracture toughness. In total, four different coatings were applied; three with different titanium dioxide nanoparticle aspect ratios, and one without any titanium dioxide nanoparticles present in the polystyrene matrix. Characterization of the results showed that the shape of the titanium dioxide nanoparticle is a dominant factor that influences the susceptibility of aluminum alloy 2024-T3 to SCC.