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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/N64113/01
Title: STRESS CORROSION CRACKING AND CORROSION FATIGUE OF SPOT WELDS IN AL ALLOYS FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS
Principal Investigator: Davenport, Professor AJ
Other Investigators:
Bowen, Professor P Bowen, Professor P Strangwood, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Alcan
Department: Metallurgy and Materials
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 March 2001 Ends: 31 October 2004 Value (£): 211,621
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is considerable interest in increasing the use of aluminium for structural components of car bodies in order to save weight. The alloy that is favoured for its ease of formability is 5182 (A1-4.5Mg). However, alloys containing more than 3%Mg are unstable with time at moderately elevated service temperatures owing to precipitation of Mg-containing particles at grain boundaries. This leads to susceptibility to intergranular corrosion processes such as stress corrosion cracking, corrosion fatigue, and exfoliation. The phenomenon is sometimes refereed to as tropicalisation . The aim of this project is to elucidate the mechanisms of intergranular corrosion and to use this knowledge to improve the material's resistance through addition of minor alloying additions. Emphasis will be placed on alloy performance after spot welding.The experimental approach will combine electrochemical characterisation and assessment of stress corrosion cracking and corrosion fatigue with detailed studies of grain boundary chemistry using FEG-TEM. Mechanistic understanding will be used to guide the development of predictive models of sensitisation behaviour. Work will be carried out in collaboration with Alcan International and Rover Group UK.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk