Assessment of aluminium alloys anodised with tartaric sulphuric acid

AWE currently use chromic acid anodising for passivating aluminium alloys to provide corrosion protection for a range of applications across site. However, chromic acid contains hexavalent chromium which is restricted therefore, alternative chemicals are required that ensure aluminium alloys meet the process specifications.

Start date
1 October 2021
3.5 years
Application deadline
Funding information

3.5 years of stipend and fees paid. Stipend of £17,000 pa.

Funding source
The University of Surrey and AWE
Supervised by


AWE currently uses chromic acid anodising for passivating aluminium alloys to provide corrosion protection in a range of applications. Chromic acid anodising, however, gives rise to waste hexavalent chromium which is restricted under the European Union’s REACH Regulations. Alternative anodising treatments are therefore required.

This novel research programme is an evidence-based approach to develop anodised coatings that are fit for purpose in terms of key material properties, e.g. corrosion resistance, mechanical robustness, electrical breakdown voltage, coating adherence, and radiation hardness. The morphology and microstructure of the anodised layer will be analysed with various electron microscopy methods. Other techniques will be used to study the composition and surface chemistry of the coatings. The performance of the coatings will be assessed as a function of processing parameters, i.e. time, temperature, pH, and voltage. This experimental data will enable the coating performance to be related to the anodised layer’s microstructure and composition.

Related links
Centre for Doctoral Training in MiNMaT

The candidate will spend a lot of time with the sponsor who are based at Aldermaston.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates must have a:

  • Physical Sciences degree. First Class or Upper Second minimum

  • Masters at merit or distinction

UK or EU students only. Please note we are not funded for international students. Additionally, the nature of this work relates to UK security so applicants are considered at the sponsor's discretion.

IELTS requirements : IELTS Level 6.5 or above

How to apply

First steps are to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the Centre Manager Noelle Hartley.

References will be requested from you post interview stage.

This studentship fall sin the remit of the Centre for Doctoral Training in MiNMaT – see webpages for Centre information.

Application deadline

Contact details

Noelle Hartley
05 AB 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 683467

CDT in MiNMaT within the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences


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