Effect of frequency of plasma electrolytic oxidation on the microstructure and corrosion resistance of 6061 aluminium alloy

G. H. Oh, J. K. Yoon, J. Y. Huh, J. M. Doh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, a hybrid method was used to generate a continuous thin alumina coating layer on the surface of Al6061 alloy at different frequencies of 100 Hz, 400 Hz, and 2000 Hz in pulsed unipolar mode in Step 1. In Step 2, a thick coating layer was formed at 300 Hz in pulsed bipolar mode. The microstructure of the PEO coating layer was observed using both SEM and TEM. The PEO coating layer exhibited the densest cross-sectional microstructure and porosity at a unipolar frequency of 400 Hz. The corrosion resistance of the PEO coating layer at the frequencies used in Step 1 was evaluated through potentiodynamic polarization testing and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in a 3.5 wt% NaCl solution. Initially, the corrosion resistance of the PEO layer increased with increasing frequency up to 400 Hz, but eventually decreased, indicating a strong correlation between the corrosion resistance and the distribution of microcracks and pores in the coating layer. Comparing the results of the uncoated Al6061 alloy, PEO coated specimen at 400 Hz exhibited a significantly lower corrosion current density (Icorr) of 5.06 × 10−11 A/cm2 and a higher corrosion potential (Ecorr) of −0.088 V, in contrast to the uncoated Al6061 alloy's Icorr of 1.01 × 10−6 A/cm2 and Ecorr of −0.673 V.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129861
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to express gratitude to Dr. J.M. Doh and Prof. J.Y. Huh for their assistance with PEO experiments, Potentiodynamic Polarization, EIS, SEM, and TEM analysis. This study was supported financially by the Institutional business grant funded by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) (No. 2E31204 , No. 2E31793 and No. 2E3253 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Al alloys
  • Anti-corrosion
  • Coating
  • Microstructures
  • Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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