Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) or Micro Arc Oxidation is an electrochemical process of oxidation that is performed by creating micro-discharges on the surface of components immersed in an electrolyte. The process is applied to Aluminum, Titanium, and Magnesium to grow a dense, ductile nano-ceramic oxide layer that improves mechanical, wear, thermal, dielectric, and corrosion properties.
Detailed Process Description:
IBC’s PEO process uses a controlled high-voltage alternating current that is applied to a metal part submerged in an electrolytic bath. Due to the high voltage and current, intense plasma is created on the surface of the metal. This plasma oxidizes the surface of the part and grows a nano-structured ceramic oxide layer from the substrate material. The oxide film is produced by subsurface oxidation. As a result, the process can produce very thick coatings of varying porosity. IBC can readily grow coatings up to 250 microns thick, and ongoing research is showing feasibility of coating thicknesses of up to 500 microns.
- High hardness
- CeraTough™-Al: 2000 HV
- CeraTough™-Ti: 1000 HV
- Controllable thickness
- As low as 1 micron
- As high as 80 microns
- Controllable color
- Significantly less wear compared to anodizing
- Low coefficient of friction
- Significantly better corrosion characteristics compared to anodizing
- Non-line-of-sight process
- High density (95%-99%+)
- No fatigue debit
- Green technology: no hazardous waste streams
CeraTough™ is frequently used for wear resistance in lightweight aerospace grade alloys. Compared to anodizing, CeraTough™-coated components are lighter and have a significantly longer service life. CeraTough™ has been used successfully within a broad array of applications, including Humvee piston heads, where it resulted in a 150°C temperature reduction in the engine chamber. CeraTough™ has also been used as a replacement for anodizing in fuel pumps, resulting in a 5X life extension of parts that previously experienced premature failure as a result of cavitation and gear wear.