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Tesla To Open Superchargers To Other Electric Vehicles Later This Year

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Tesla plans to make its Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year, Elon Musk just shared on Twitter. He was replying to Raphael (aka @TesLatino) who shared his thoughts on how others are wondering why Tesla even created its own charging connector. Many think that it’s not fair to other EVs, and he pointed out that Elon Musk didn’t receive any support while he was advancing the technology. “His team created a reliable way to charge the fleet,” he said. “Deal with it!”

Elon explained that the reason why Tesla created its own connector was that there wasn’t a standard in those early days. In fact, back then, Tesla was the only maker of long-range EVs. No other vehicles could even make use of superfast charging if it was available to them. The Tesla connector is quite slim and works for both low and high-power charging.

This update from Elon Musk follows previous news that Tesla is opening two public Superchargers in Norway and 6 in Sweden. However, those are slated to be opened by Q3 of next year. For the case in Sweden, Tesla applied for 6 of the public stations from TM Sweden AB. Since funding is available for public charging — not private — that makes sense. Elbilen noted that these will most likely be public Superchargers as a result.

One thing many Americans may not realize is that the Superchargers in Europe include CCS connectors already, and in China they have CHAdeMO 3.0, as our own Maarten Vinkhuyzen pointed out privately. That means that the hardware is already ready for charging from other EVs, and there are at least a couple of places where it was opened up in 2020 (Maarten charged his ZOE at one). So, in those markets, all that’s needed is for Tesla to open up permission to non-Teslas and also have an app ready to charge them (money-wise) for using the chargers. In the U.S., it seems that it will be a bit trickier. We’ll see.

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the transition to sustainability, and by opening up its Supercharging network to other EVs, it’s doing just that. Of course, I’m sure Tesla will make extra money from the service, but that is unlikely to be the aim here.

With Tesla’s Superchargers soon to be open to other EVs, this brings an entire network of charging stations online for EV owners whose cars aren’t Teslas. This helps ease range anxiety, which is a common reason why some are reluctant to switch to EVs. It’s another way Tesla will be advancing EV sales.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/20/tesla-to-open-superchargers-to-other-electric-vehicles-later-this-year/

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One Way Toyota Could Survive The Electric Vehicle Disruption

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Here at CleanTechnica, we haven’t been big fans of Toyota. Most recently, Steve Handley wrote a fine article about Toyota’s CEO (and the grandson of its founder) is saying that thousands of jobs will be lost if we move to electric vehicles (EVs). What Toyota’s CEO seems to miss is that more jobs will be lost if he doesn’t move to EVs. In this article, I’ll talk about some of Toyota’s advantages and how it can leverage them to survive this very difficult time for all traditional automakers. I know some of you want to see Toyota fail for some of the actions it has taken to slow the electrification of the industry (and you may very well get your wish), but that isn’t what this article is about. This article is about how Toyota could pivot in a way that is different from other automakers. The “easy” thing for me to write would be that Toyota should be just like Volkswagen and develop a broad plan to produce state-of-the-art electric vehicles. I think it needs to do that, but that will take 5 or more years to produce some good results. Toyota needs a plan to survive until then, because this market is shifting to electric vehicles quickly, even more quickly than I imagined was possible.

A Parallel Between IBM & Toyota

I worked for IBM for 13 years in the ’80s and ’90s and think Toyota’s situation is in some ways similar to IBM’s back then. IBM in the ’80s was more dominant than Toyota is today. It had higher sales than several of the nearest competitors combined. I believe it was that extreme dominance that led to many of its troubles.

It is hard to get people to change when you are winning. Likewise, Toyota is winning (maybe not this year, but for the last 50 years). IBM bet on hardware when the money was in the software. It put money into its marketing when its competitors put it into their products. IBM considered its marketing people to be its competitive advantage and saw its software developers as somewhat of a commodity that could be outsourced or easily replaced by offshore talent. IBM has barely survived the last 40 years in a very high growth industry and has failed to grow at all. If you adjust IBM’s sales for inflation, the company has shrunk.  Through cost-cutting, milking its past successful products for all their worth, and spending huge amounts of money on stock buybacks, IBM has been able to keep the stock stable. Companies that have more ideas than money go to the capital markets to finance those ideas. Companies that have more money than ideas buy back their stock. IBM has been right to buy back its stock, since it doesn’t really know how to develop new products anymore.

Toyota, after it has lost face and been humbled, will need to take a similar route. It will need to aggressively cut costs and break promises it has made to its executives, workers, and even cities if it wants to survive. It is also possible that the Japanese government will bail out the workers, or maybe the workers and the company. Toyota still has a good reputation with many customers (it has upset environmentalists after being their hero 20 years ago with the Prius, but it still has many fans that it can leverage to survive this transition).

Image courtesy of Toyota

Steps I Recommend For Toyota

Toyota has not done the work to roll out the EVs it needs to be competitive with early adopters in many markets, but it does have a lead in hybrids and should use that lead to survive until it has the time to develop the EVs it needs. Here are steps I recommend:

  1. Put an electric motor in every car as quickly as you can ramp up production. For example, as I covered in this article when Toyota designed the Sienna Minivan, the company decided it might as well make it a hybrid as standard equipment. Although that adds a couple thousand dollars in additional costs for the small battery and electric motor, it can save money by providing additional power for the car at key times without adding a turbo. It also gets 50% better fuel mileage, cutting fuel costs by $10,000 over the life of the vehicle. Furthermore, it reduces emissions, which helps the company’s public image, and in regions like Europe that fine you for having high emissions, it saves you real money.
  2. As I discussed in this article, making serial hybrids in which the gas engine has no connection to the wheels and just acts as a generator has certain advantages. You are converting all your accessories to electric (water pump, air conditioning, brake assist, steering assist, etc.). This is helping your suppliers prepare for an EV future more quickly. A serial hybrid doesn’t need an expansive transmission and Toyota could greatly reduce costs on engines by having just 1 or 2 simple generators that run at a constant speed when electricity is needed. Serial hybrids need small batteries about the same size as Toyota’s parallel hybrids.
  3. As they get more battery supply, they can convert more models to plug-in hybrids, which as I discussed in this article, can greatly reduce fossil fuel use and emissions, if people plug them in. In general, I don’t think a plug-in is worth the hassle if you can’t put in 30 miles of range or so. Many of the incentives governments give also require a battery of a certain size or a certain range, so don’t make a plug-in hybrid unless you can meet those requirements.
  4. Toyota is experienced in being the last to offer something. When the Detroit big 3 abandoned sedans a few years ago, Toyota kept making a full line of sedans (it recently announced it is discontinuing the Avalon). When people who were lifelong Chevy buyers went to buy a new sedan, they were forced to go to Toyota, Honda, VW, or Mazda, since Chevy quit selling most of its sedans. Likewise, as many brands quit selling gas cars, those not ready to switch to electric will flock to brands like Toyota that still offer cars that run on gas (even if they are hybrids). This won’t make up for all the customers that Toyota will lose by not having EVs, but it could help Toyota.

Today, Toyota has the Sienna and Venza as hybrid-only models. The Corolla, Camry, RAV4, and Highlander all offer hybrid models and the RAV4 offers a plug. Toyota could drop the non-hybrid models as it can and do some work to enable serial hybrids for many of these vehicles. You have to wonder if the Prius should just be combined with the Corolla at this point — it has lost its value as a way to signal your environmental concern. Anyone who is a leader in reducing emissions has long since left that brand. [Editor’s note: I think there still are a lot of people who think they’re being green by buying a Prius and just think BEVs are niche or too expensive and not practical enough yet. Though, the number is certainly declining every day. —Zach]

The painful truth is Toyota sales are going to go down significantly and there is nothing Toyota can do about it now. The company should have invested in one or more EV platforms a few years ago. It needs to dramatically reduce engineering costs by dropping its research into fuel cells and most engine and transmission development (other than a generator for serial hybrids and plug-in hybrids). If it cuts expenses now before it is in financial trouble, that will give the company the money it needs to invest in future technologies, but if it continues to waste billions on gas engines and hydrogen fuel cells, it’s unlikely the company will survive without a massive bailout.

Disclosure: I am a shareholder in Tesla [TSLA], BYD [BYDDY], Nio [NIO], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But I offer no investment advice of any sort here.

 

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/26/one-way-toyota-could-survive-the-electric-vehicle-disruption/

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Record Month For Plugin Vehicles In China!

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Plugin vehicles are all the rage in China, having scored 286,000 registrations in August, a full 22% increase over the previous record, which was set in June when 235,000 registrations were made. That pulls the year-to-date (YTD) tally to 1.6 million units, and with further record months set to happen until December, we should have over 3 million registrations by the end of the year … almost three times as many as the 2020 result!

Share-wise, with August having a record month and the overall auto market dropping 12% year over year (YoY), market share jumped through the roof, hitting 19% (15% full electrics/BEVs). This pulled the 2021 share to 12.4% (10.1% BEV), and considering that the second half of the year is usually China’s strongest, we can now safely assume that the country’s plugin vehicle market share will end above the 15% mark this year.

Looking at August best sellers, the biggest news item was the fact that the Wuling Mini EV was not only leader in the EV category, but also in the overall ranking!

Here are August’s top 5 best selling models in more detail:

#1 — Wuling HongGuang Mini EV

With a record 41,118 registrations last month, the tiny four-seater continued on its roll, winning another best seller title and for the first time adding a gold medal in the overall ranking to its trophy closet. If the little Wuling continues at this pace, a 400,000+ score by the end of the year is likely for the small EV. With this kind of scale, it is natural that the joint venture is turning a profit on its star EV (probably a small one, admittedly), which opens up the prospect of exporting the vehicle. It also opens up the prospect of further product development. An announced refresh (slightly longer wheelbase, 26 kWh battery, more powerful electric motor, updated features) is already coming our way, in order to keep it one step ahead of the competition. The Wuling EV has become a trendsetter and a disruptive force in urban mobility, a true EV for the masses, with the added bonus that the people buying it (mostly females, mostly under 35 years old) are usually a hard-to-capture audience. This marks a new chapter in EV mobility.

#2 — BYD Qin Plus PHEV

The BYD Qin has been a bread and butter model for the Chinese automaker for a long time, and surfing the wave of the Han success, BYD went all in with its Qin Plus. In the case of the PHEV version, this meant the launch of two versions, a lower priced one with an 8.5 kWh battery and 55 km (34 mi) of range on the NEDC testing cycle (which is overly generous), and a top-of-the-range version with an 18.3 kWh battery and best-in-class 120 km (75 mi) NEDC range. Something new in this new generation is that the internal combustion engine works mostly as a range extender, improving efficiency. The model refresh added to the new PHEV specs (and LFP batteries …) have transformed the career of BYD’s sedan. The PHEV version hit a record 13,043 registrations last month, allowing it to be August’s silver medalist. And if we were to add the BEV versions to the tally (#7 in August, with 7,633 units), the Qin Plus would have over 20,000 registrations, which puts it 7th in the overall market!

#3 — Tesla Model Y

After an absence in July, Tesla’s most recent addition to the lineup returned to the podium, with 11,576 registrations, and expect September to present an even better score. (25,000?) There are a few reasons for this behavior. Deliveries of both Made in China models are now in Tesla mode (slow first month of the quarter, so so speed in the 2nd, and all hands on deck, this is going ballistic in the 3rd). Also, the Standard Range version of the Model Y, which has dominated new orders (there are rumors that 70% of new Tesla orders in China are for this version), started getting delivered in the last days of August. A large volume of deliveries can be expected for September. There’s a several-thousands-long waiting list for the Model Y in China.

#4 — Li Xiang One

Li Auto, the Chinese startup living in the shadow of the more media-friendly and fully electric NIO and Xpeng, has been selling its one full-size SUV with remarkable success, and in August it got another record performance (its third in a row), delivering 9,433 units. That allowed it to once again beat the leader in its class, the BYD Han. With such success, it would have been expected that the startup’s next step would be to follow “Tesla’s playbook” and go down market, with a smaller and, above all, cheaper model. But Li Auto is a sort of bad boy among Chinese EV startups and prefers to play by its own rules (just look at the powertrain). Its next step is to launch an even bigger SUV (as if the 5-meter One model just wasn’t big enough …) in 2022. We can expect it to be a sort of Cadillac Escalade–sized land yacht with space for your better half, kids, in-laws, dogs … and with range-extended technology. Will this strategy work? Who knows? Few thought that its bet on an EREV powertrain would be successful (just ask GM’s management), and yet here we are. To have an idea of how fast this EV startup is growing, just think of this: Tesla took 4 years from the first Model S deliveries to reach a 100,000 unit milestone (cumulative sales), NIO did the same in 3 years, XPeng is expected to break the 100,000 mark soon (taking a little less than 4 years), while Li Auto is expected to reach 100,000 deliveries in less than 2 years! With just one model!! And a full size one!!! [Editor’s note: Mind blowing.]

#5 — SAIC Roewe Clever EV

At first sight, compared with its cousin, the Wuling Mini EV, SAIC’s iteration of a city EV doesn’t sound as appealing. It is more expensive and has just 2 seats. On the other hand, its 27 kWh battery, slightly longer length, better safety features, and more powerful electric motor (37kW/50 hp) allow it to be considered a real car, not something bordering on a heavy quadricycle. Moving on, Roewe’s small EV had a record 8,913 units delivered in August, profiting on the boom that city EVs are now experiencing in China, much thanks to the Wuling Mini EV success story. The Clever EV sits as the sensible choice in the SAIC Group stable of city EVs, above the bare-basics Wuling Mini EV, but below the more trendy and fashionable Baojun Kiwi (known previously as the E300).

Looking at the remaining best sellers table in August, one can tell it was a record month, as 12(!) models (and 6 out of the top 7) had record performances. Besides the aforementioned top 5, a mention also goes out to the record scores of the #11 XPeng P7 (6,165 units, 3rd record score in a row), #16 Volkswagen ID.4 (4,679 units, 3rd record month in a row), #17 Hozon Neta V (4,611 units), #18 Leapmotor T03 (4,409, 4 record months in a row), #19 Letin Mango (4,372, 3rd record months), #20 GAC Aion Y (4,124), and … two BYDs that continue their never ending production ramp up — the #6 Song Pro PHEV & #7 Qin Plus EV (it was their 4th record month in a row).

BYD’s battery availability now allows it to open the floodgates to most of its models, like in the case of the #12 Tang PHEV (5,433 units, its best result since January 2019) and the #15 Yuan EV (4,782 units, its best score in 2 years), while below the top 20, other beneficiaries of this battery bonanza are the Song Pro EV (3,579 units) and the BYD e2 (3,513). There are literally a dozen models from BYD going up the ranking, with an important addition last month to BYD’s arsenal: the much hyped BYD Dolphin hatchback, which landed with a solid 1,755 units.

While the new small-to-compact hatchback from BYD isn’t expected to go after best selling titles at home (that is the task of the Qin Plus), the new Dolphin is right sized to be BYD’s star player in export markets, namely in South America, Europe, and a number of Asia/Pacific markets. It is expected to fill the same role for BYD that the MG ZS EV is filling for SAIC.

But this month wasn’t only about BYD and record scores. Outside the top 20, we should mention the little Sol E10X hitting 3,255 registrations, Ora’s Good Cat hatchback reaching 4,005 registrations, and the large Volkswagen ID.6 scoring 2,276 registrations. If you add the ID.6 total to the ID.4 score, that gets Volkswagen close to 7,000 units on its MEB-based EVs. While this result in isolation is positive, the number still gets dwarfed by Tesla’s score, which was almost twice as much last month.

Volkswagen still has a long way to go to come close to the American automaker in the race for best selling foreign OEM in China (with SAIC and BYD so far ahead that the overall manufacturer race is only between these two domestic players right now). If Volkswagen Group wants to catch Tesla globally, it will need to recover ground in the largest EV market in the world.

Fortunately, Volkswagen Group still has a lot of firepower to deploy in the coming months, as the Volkswagen ID.3, Skoda Enyaq, and Audi Q4 are said to land soon. Will this be enough to reach Tesla’s sales level?

Finally, besides the BYD Dolphin’s landing, other important EVs made their debut last month. The refreshed (and rebadged) Baojun Kiwi EV, previously known as E300, started its career with 1,931 registrations. Weltmeister’s E.5 compact sedan debuted with 1,559 registrations. The new Pocco brand continues to impress — after launching the tiny two-seat Meimei a couple of months ago (2,522 registrations last month), August was time to launch the Pocco Duoduo, a rather quirky Kei-car-like small four seater, and it landed with an impressive 2,100 registrations. Is Kaixin, Pocco’s parent company, another startup to look out for?

In the words of Kaixin Chairman and CEO Mingjun Lin: “The era of small size electric vehicles has come, and Kaixin will not be absent from this feast!”

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the top positions remained the same. But expect the ever rising Li Xiang One to soon surpass the BYD Han EV and become the new #4 on the table.

Although, if we were to add both the BEV and PHEV versions of the BYD Han (they are essentially the same car, but with different powertrains), the full-size sedan would not only be out of the Li Xiang’s range (the Han would have 69,000 units, versus Li’s 48,000), but would also steal Model Y’s #3 spot and become the bronze medalist.

Speaking of BYD, despite having the Han EV’s #4 spot in danger, the Shenzhen brand had a perfect month in the YTD chart, as all models that climbed up the table belonged to BYD — the Qin Plus PHEV jumped 3 spots into #7, the Song Pro PHEV jumped two positions to #14, the BYD e2 was up to #19, and the Qin Plus EV joined table, in #17, thus making it 6 BYDs in the top 20!

And do not expect this trend to end soon, as just outside the top 20 we have another BYD on the verge of showing up on the table, with the Tang PHEV in #21, some 200 units behind the #20 position. So, we might have a 7th BYD model in the top 20 soon.

Looking at the automaker ranking, the SGMW joint venture (17%) is still in the leadership position, but it is losing ground to rising BYD (16%, up 1 point). The Shenzhen automaker now has its eyes set on recovering the leadership position and winning its 8th title.

Tesla (10%, down 1 point), is comfortable in 3rd, while below the podium, SAIC (6%, down 1 point) is stable in 4th, followed by #5 Great Wall with 5% and a trio of automakers (GAC, NIO, and Changan) with 4% share.

Looking at OEMs, despite BYD’s current takeover of the market, SAIC (23%) is too far ahead to be bothered, with 7 percentage points separating them. With just 4 months to go, Shanghai Auto can already start to prepare the coronation event.

It’s essentially the same story in the Best Selling Foreigner race. Despite the Volkswagen Group’s best efforts, its share (4%) just isn’t enough to bother Tesla (10%). Better luck next year?

 

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/26/record-month-for-plugin-vehicles-in-china/

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Drive Electric Week Down Under

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What a fantastic day of inquisitive participants! The hard work of Jon Day and the Australian Electric Vehicles Association certainly paid off with the largest gathering of electric vehicles and allied industries in Australia to date. 

I must point out that this was privately organized by and for community groups. Not a politician in sight. The closest we got to government participation was the lone hydrogen-powered Hyundai from QFleet. 

The kids raced around the adjacent field on electric dirt bikes while the parents talked with owners of more than 150 electric cars on display. There were test drive ride-alongs in the Teslas, the hydrogen car, the Hyundais, BMWs, and Porsches that were on offer.

In the pavilion were exhibitors from the Australian Conservation Foundation, Solar Citizens, battery manufacturers, electric outboard boat outfitters, Jaguar, MG, the QUT solar racer, lots of charging retailers, and, of course, Tesla.

I did the occasional walk and took lots of photos, but spent most of my time stationed near my car to talk to the many people who stopped with questions. The field we parked in was full of cars surrounded by groups of people quizzing the owners and drivers wanting answers to questions like — How do you charge? Where do you charge it? What’s it cost? What is the range of the car? I loved starting with the comment: we just got back from Winton. The listeners usually did a double take as they digested how far that was. Then, I followed up with, and it cost me $40.

It was wonderful how many people recognized the car or who commented, “You’re the people who just drove out to Winton and back — I read about you on CleanTechnica!”

In all, I would say that Majella and I talked to over a 100 people today.

Sitting at home enjoying a lovely glass of South Australian red wine, we are reflecting on what a great day it was, how tired our voices are, and how sore our feet feel.

 

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Laser Treatment Shows Potential for Reducing Industrial Chemical Processing for Vehicles

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Long-lasting protection from corrosion is essential for materials used for vehicles and aircraft to ensure structural integrity amid extreme operating conditions. Two chemical pre-treatment processes are widely used in industrial settings to prepare for coating adhesion and protect aluminum alloy surfaces against corrosion. While highly regulated, both processes use large quantities of hazardous compounds with known environmental and health risks.

A multidisciplinary team of scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has applied a laser-interference structuring, or LIS, technique that makes significant strides toward eliminating the need for these hazardous chemicals. The novel application of the LIS method answers a call from the U.S. Department of Defense for research projects that explore nonchemical alternatives for corrosion protection in military vehicles and aircraft systems.

Chromate conversion coating, or CCC, uses hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen, to inhibit corrosion. Sulfuric acid anodizing, SAA, uses sulfuric acid, which can severely irritate skin and eyes, and when inhaled, can lead to permanent lung damage. Millions of gallons of used chemical solutions are disposed of annually as hazardous waste.

The military operates more than 12,000 aircraft, 10,000 tanks, hundreds of ships and a multitude of other vehicles and weapons systems. DoD owns and operates hundreds of industrial facilities that manufacture and repair these vehicles and equipment, spending more than $20 billion in corrosion protection annually. The agency’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, or SERDP, planned and executed with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, is “focused on developing alternative technologies to eliminate materials and processes that are of environmental concern,” said Robin Nissan, program manager of SERDP and its sister program, the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program.

“Our defense systems require repair and refurbishment,” he said. “Our programs are investing in the development of alternative processes that can ensure robust performance, sustainable practices and eliminate environmental risk.”

In three successive publications, ORNL materials scientist Adrian Sabau and a team of chemists and manufacturing scientists described, demonstrated and analyzed an LIS technique and compared its performance to the traditional solvent-intensive methods. Co-authors on the research included ORNL’s Jiheon Jun, Mike Stephens, Dana McClurg, Harry Meyer III, Donovan Leonard and Jian Chen.

Sabau, who specializes in materials processing such as metal casting and solidification, and his team had recently completed a project using LIS for bonding in automotive applications. When he read DoD’s call for research on nonsolvent surface preparation, Sabau recognized that a similar technique could be effective for coating adhesion as well.

In their experiments, they treated aluminum alloy sheets by splitting the primary beam of a pulsed nanosecond laser into two beams and focusing them on the same spot on the specimen surface. This process roughened the surface with periodic structures, changed the surface chemistry and sub-surface microstructure.

“In laser processing, you’re impacting lots of energy on the top surface, and we need to understand what’s happening to the substrate. Is it damaged? Does it crack? Are there any microstructure effects that are not beneficial to corrosion protection?” Sabau said.

Meyer, a physical chemist, and Leonard, a microscopist, contributed to the characterization work outlined in Optics and Laser Technology. Meyer conducted surface chemical analysis using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, or XPS.

“XPS is a material characterization technique that can determine what elements are on the surface — the top 5 to 8 nanometers — of solid materials,” Meyer said. “Before laser processing, XPS was used to determine the chemical composition of the as-received aluminum alloy sheets, which showed high amounts of carbon. XPS was used again to determine if the laser processing cleaned the surface. The results showed a significant reduction of the carbon and was one of our key findings. XPS, along with electron microscopy results, helped us to understand how the native oxide was altered through laser processing.”

Sabau added, “In looking at subsurface characterization, we found a beneficial aspect that we bumped into by accident. In the top layer, we saw the dissolution of copper-rich precipitates, where corrosion can initiate.”

After an aluminum alloy sheet is cleaned, often the surface energy prohibits the coating from sticking properly, a known issue in industrial surface coatings. The team’s next publication, for the International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, looked at coating adhesion and found that the LIS method provided adhesion as well as the industry-standard and solvent-intensive CCC and SAA techniques. A patent for coating adhesion was awarded in 2021 based on this LIS technique.

For the adhesion study, McClurg conducted profilometry on the materials, a technique that maps surface contours and provides roughness measurements.

The third paper, published in Corrosion: The Journal of Science and Engineering, outlined the final tests that Sabau’s team conducted with an epoxy primer used by the U.S. military for airplane wings and bodies.

Technician Mike Stephens completed the delicate and time-sensitive task of applying spray coatings of primers and topcoats to exacting DoD specifications on alloy sheets that had been prepared with different treatments. He then exposed the samples to 2,000 hours of salt spray to examine corrosion resistance at multiple periods. Jun led the corrosion testing, investigating how the LIS-prepared surfaces compared to conventionally prepared alloy substrates, both with and without primer and a topcoat.

“The laser interference-treated substrate exhibited higher corrosion resistance,” said Jun, who attributed the result to copper-rich precipitates dissolving. However, on the samples coated with primer or primer and topcoat, LIS did not perform as well as the chemical solvent techniques, with some samples showing blisters within 96 hours of salt spray exposure. However, those blisters were small and remained stable through hundreds of hours of exposure.

The team tested a second set of samples that were simply wiped down with acetone prior to the application of primer, resulting in very little corrosion, and the formation of blisters was delayed by hundreds of hours.

Jun said further investigation to optimize LIS would be worthwhile.

“Our research approach, combining lab-scale electrochemical measurements and industrially adopted ASTM [American Society for Testing Materials] salt spray testing, was very successful and aided in-depth understanding of the effects of laser interference treatment,” he said.

“For a process that was conducted at ambient temperature without solvents, most of the samples performed extremely well,” Sabau said. “This technique is a huge step in the right direction towards nonchemical intensive surface preparation for coatings.”

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.

Article courtesy of ORNL.

 

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