Corrosion affects a metal s strength,
conductivity, durability, and resistance
to external influences.  Several differ 
ent  technologies  have  been  used  to
combat this problem.  Chromium, cop 
per,  lead,  cadmium,  and  zinc  metals
are among the materials used as cor 
rosion  inhibitors.    However,  each  of
these  has  health  issues  associated
with them.  For a corrosion inhibitor
to be effective, the surface of the metal
being protected may have galvanic and
passivity properties.  Lithium can pro 
vide both of these properties.
The University of New Orleans, Col 
lege of Engineering (UNO COE) devel 
Figure 2 1.  Ingersoll Fiber Placement Machine
oped the use of lithium with aluminum
for a corrosion inhibitor.  UNO COE s
equipment has successfully supported a number of
patented coating proved to make an aluminum
NASA and aircraft applications.  Figure 2 1 shows
alloy less reactive, less prone to corrosion, and
the current NCAM fiber placement machine, which
with improved electrical conductivity.  Also, us 
has  a  working  area  measuring  five  by  12  meters.
ing  an  Aluminum Lithium  (Al Li)  alloy  allows
NCAM personnel have participated in research and
for a lighter weight aluminum alloy to provide
technology development, while effecting a collabo 
the same structural properties as that of heavier
rative manufacturing environment.  Additionally, the
aluminum alloys.  With lithium alloyed into the
facility has provided both economic and educational
aluminum  creating  an  Al Li  alloy,  it  is  deter 
opportunities from the added technical capabilities
mined  that  this  alloy  has  all  the  properties  of
and work brought to the region; increased use of UNO
having the Al Li coating provided on top of the
COE  educational  offerings  by  NASA  and  NCAM
metal.   Also,  heating  this  alloy  provides  other
members  and    employees;  and  expanded  research
properties  due  to  the  lithium  migrating  to  the
opportunities for graduate students and faculty.  Of
surface.  Heating the Al Li alloy to 350oC pro 
equal importance are the improved product offerings
vides the best results.  However, heating it over
and quality that have been delivered to NASA and
600oC will vaporize the lithium, thus reducing
aircraft applications.  Considerable expansion of all
corrosion advantages.  In accelerated testing, a
these  opportunities  is  anticipated  when  the  addi 
two mil (thousandths of an inch) coating of Al 
tional state of the art system is added.
Li pigmented paint provided corrosion resistance
which  lasted  up  to  10  years.   A  chemical  film
treated surface of aluminum is not as corrosion
Corrosion Inhibitors
resistant  as  a  painted  surface;  however,  it  can
be painted later to improve on the intermediate
The University of New Orleans, College of En 
surface protection.  Since aluminum is especially
gineering  has  obtained  patents  on  the  use  of
susceptible to saltwater corrosion, the Al Li may
lithium as a corrosion inhibitor.  It developed alu 
provide substantial protection for aircraft.  UNO
minum lithium  alloys  that  have  improved  cor 
COE is studying this now.
rosion resistance without the use of a coating or
UNO COE is also studying the prevention of
chemical treatment.  The University of New Or 
the effects a copper or copper oxide coated ship
leans,  College  of  Engineering  also  developed  a
has  on  plants  and  wildlife.    It  has  long  been
paintable chemical film treatment for aluminum
known that copper hull ships kill the plant life
alloys,  and  is  researching  the  use  of  scandium
around  them;  thus,  the  wildlife  that  feed  on
as a corrosion resistant alloy (with aluminum)
plants  either  die  or  leave.    Greeks  have  devel 
with exceptional weight and strength advantages.
oped  Seal Coat ,  which is an epoxy with em 
6
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