At the annual conference of Australasian Corrosion Association (ACA) held this month, the conference paper, The Role of Precipitates Upon the Electrochemical Stability of Aluminium received the Marshall Fordham Research Paper Award. The award is given annually to the best research paper either published in Corrosion & Materials or in the Annual ACA Conference Proceedings.
The award-winning paper describes the work of PhD student Xian Zhou and her supervisor, A/Prof. Nick Birbilis from Monash University who, along with co-authors Prof. Simon Ringer and colleagues at the University of Sydney (USyd), are part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals.
They used innovative transmission electron microscopy techniques in the AMMRF at USyd to show that for a compositionally identical alloy, the size, volume, and number of precipitate particles has a significant influence on the corrosion of the alloy. The detailed microscopy for this project needed careful measurement of sample thickness in-situ using plasmon loss, and quantification of the alloy microstructure. Coupling state-of-the-art electrochemical analysis and microscopy in this way had not previously been reported.