Treatment Process for Reduced Corrosion in CFRP/Metal Hybrids

Executive Summary
Carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites (CFRPs) are often mechanically fastened to metals such as aluminum alloys in lightweight aircraft applications. Since both materials are electrically conductive, galvanic corrosion of the less noble metal can occur, leading to degradation over time. MSU researchers have developed a new technology for treating the exposed carbon fibers in the CFRP parts that significant inhibits corrosion. Salt spray test results for mechanically fastened treated CFRP to aluminum over 14 days show a 2/3 reduction in weight loss and ¼ of the surface roughness of the aluminum compared to untreated systems. The treatment also significantly reduces carbon fiber degradation and corrosion.
Description of the Technology
This invention involves treating the exposed edges of the CFRP with substituted aryl diazonium salts to form an organic adlayer covalently bonded the carbon fiber surfaces. The organic adlayer inhibits the rate of electrochemical reactions occurring at the carbon fiber-solution interface, thus inhibiting galvanic corrosion and carbon corrosion. The process can be accomplished spontaneously by immersing the exposed CFRP edges to a solution of the aryl diazonium salt over a period of time or by an electrochemically-assisted process. A range of aryl diazonium molecules can be used with excellent performance.
Simple application process
Can be expedited using electrochemically assisted reduction
Applicable to a range of metals and metal alloys such as steel, Al, Mg, Be, Ti
Civilian and military aircraft
Automotive manufacturing
All applications where CFRP is mechanically fastened to metals susceptible to oxidation
Patent Status
Patent pending
Licensing Rights
Full licensing rights available
Journal of the Electrochemical Society Article
Dr. Greg Swain, Isuri Dammulla


Contact Information

TTO Home Page:

Name: Jon Debling

Title: Technology Manager

Department: MSU Technologies