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AS 1627.

6-2003

Australian Standard"'

Metal finishing-Preparation and


pretreatment of surfaces
Part 6: Chemical conversion treatment
of metals

Originated AS CK9.6-1968.
Previous edition AS 1627.6-1994.
Third edition 2003.

COPYRIGHT
Standards Australia International
All rights are reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, without the written permission of the
publisher.
Published by Standards Australia International Ltd
GPO Box 5420, Sydney, NSW 2001, Australia

I SBN 0 7337 5381 7

AS 1627.6-2003

PREFACE
This Standard has been prepared by the Australian members of the Joint Standards
Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee MT-009, Metal Finishing, to supersede
AS 1627.6-1994.
After consultation with stakeholders in both countries, Standards Australia and Standards
New Zealand decided to develop this Standard as an Australian Standard rather than an
Australian/New Zealand Standard.
The objective of this Standard is to specify procedures and requirements for chemical
coatings on metals prior to the application of organic coatings.
During the preparation of this Standard cognizance was taken of the following documents
issued by the International Organization for Standardization:
ISO
3892:2000

Conversion coatings on metallic materials-Determination of coating mass


per unit area-Gravimetric methods

9717:1990

Phosphate conversion
requirements

1 0546:1993

Chemical conversion coatings-Rinsed and non-rinsed chromate conversion


coatings on aluminium and aluminium alloys

coatings

for

metals-Method

of

specifying

This Standard is Part 6 of a series of Standards covering the preparation and pretreatment of
metal surfaces used in metal finishing. The series is as follows:
AS
1627
1 627.0
1 627.1
1 627.2
1 627.4
1 627.5
1627.6
1 627.9

Metal finishing-Preparation and pretreatment of surfaces


Part 0: Method selection guide
Part 1: Removal of oil, grease and related contamination
Part 2: Power tool cleaning
Part 4: Abrasive blast cleaning
Part 5: Pickling
Part 6: Chemical conversion treatment of metals
Part 9: Pictorial surface preparation standards for painting steel surfaces

The terms `normative' and `informative' have been used in this Standard to define the
application of the appendix to which they apply. A `normative' appendix is an integral part
of a Standard, whereas an `informative' appendix is only for information and guidance.

AS 1627.6-2003

CONTENTS
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FOREWORD

SECTION 1
SCOPE AND GENERAL
1.1
SCOPE
1.2 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS
1.3 DEFINITIONS
1.4 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
1.5 DISPOSAL OF WASTE SOLUTIONS

5
5
6
7
7

SECTION 2
PHOSPHATE CONVERSION TREATMENT
2.1
SCOPE OF SECTION
2.2 COATING CLASSIFICATION
2.3
REQUIREMENTS FOR PHOSPHATE COATINGS
2.4 METHODS OF APPLICATION

8
8
8
10

SECTION 3 CHROMATE CONVERSION TREATMENT OF ALUMINIUM,


MAGNESIUM, ZINC AND THEIR ALLOYS
3.1
SCOPE OF SECTION
3.2
COATING CLASSIFICATION
3.3 REQUIREMENTS FOR CHROMATE COATINGS
3.4 METHODS OF APPLICATION

13
13
14
15

APPENDICES
A
PURCHASING GUIDELINES
B
TEST METHODS FOR THE DETERMINATION OF PHOSPHATE
COATING MASS
C
TEST METHOD FOR DETERMINING THE FREEDOM OF PHOSPHATE
COATINGS FROM CORROSIVE RESIDUES
D
DETERMINATION OF CORROSION RESISTANCE OF
PHOSPHATE COATINGS
E
POST-COATING TREATMENTS OF IRON OR STEEL TO REDUCE THE RISK
OF HYDROGEN EMBRITTLEMENT
F
DETERMINATION OF CHROMATE COATING MASS ON
ALUMINIUM AND ITS ALLOYS ...........................................................................
G
QUALITATIVE TESTING OF THE COMPOSITION
OF CHROMATE COATINGS
H
CHROMATE TREATMENT SEQUENCE OPTIONS

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18
21
22
24
28
30
32

AS 1627.6-2003

FOREWORD
Phosphate conversion coatings are produced by treatment with solutions containing the
appropriate dihydrogen orthophosphates. These coatings are applied principally to ferrous
materials, aluminium and zinc. The coating mass per unit area and the apparent density are
dependent on(a)

the base material and its surface condition;

(b)

the previous mechanical and chemical treatment of the base material; and

(c)

the processing conditions for phosphating.

All phosphate conversion coatings are porous but can be sealed to a substantial degree by
appropriate after-treatment.
Chromate and chromium-free conversion coatings are applied to aluminium, magnesium,
zinc and their alloys to retard corrosion, as a base for organic films including paints,
powder coatings, plastics and adhesives, and as a protective coating having a low electrical
contact resistance.

AS 1627.6-2003

STANDARDS AUSTRALIA
Australian Standard
Metal finishing-Preparation and pretreatment of surfaces
Part 6: Chemical conversion treatment of metals

SECTION 1 SCOPE AND GENERAL


1.1 SCOPE
This Standard specifies requirements and procedures for the chemical conversion treatment
of metals usually prior to the application of a suitable organic protective coating and
includes the following processes:
(a)

Phosphate conversion coatings for ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

(b)

Chromate conversion coatings for aluminium, magnesium, zinc and their alloys.

Requirements on information to be supplied by the purchaser at the time of enquiry or order


are contained in Appendix A.
This Standard does not include requirements for conversion coatings applied to
electroplated work (see AS 1789).
Chromium free coatings are outside the scope of this Standard. Refer to supplier.
1.2 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS
The following documents are referred to in this Standard:
AS
1319

Safety signs for the occupational environment

1 470

Health and safety at work-Principles and practices

1580
1 580.408.4

Paints and related materials-Methods of test


Method 408.4: Adhesion (cross-cut)

1 627
1627.1

Metal finishing-Preparation and pretreatment of surfaces


Part 1: Removal of oil, grease and related contamination

1 789

Electroplated coatings-Zinc on iron or steel

2331
2331.3.1

Methods of test for metallic and related coatings


Method 3.1: Corrosion and related property tests-Neutral salt spray (NSS)
test

2483

Metal finishing-Recommended sampling plans for the inspection and testing


of coatings

2508

Safe storage and handling information cards

3780

The storage and handling of corrosive substances

4108

Metal finishing-Glossary of terms used in electroplating and related processes

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Standards Australia

AS 1627.6-2003

AS/NZS
1337

Eye protectors for industrial applications

1715

Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices

1716

Respiratory protective devices

2161
2161.1

Occupational protective gloves


Part 1: Selection, use and maintenance

ADG Code

Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail

1.3 DEFINITIONS
For the purpose of this Standard, the definitions in AS 4108 and those below apply.
1.3.1

Chromate coatings, non-rinsed

Chromate coatings that are dried immediately after the chromating step without receiving a
water rinse.
NOTE: This special type of coating is typically used on long coils of aluminium sheet stock or
zinc coated coil that receives an immediate subsequent paint or adhesive coating. It is sometimes
referred to as coil coating.
1.3.2

Chromate coatings, rinsed

Chromate coatings that are rinsed in water prior to drying.


NOTE: This type of coating is typically applied to extruded aluminium fabricated parts and
castings zinc and magnesium fabricated parts and castings.
1.3.3 Organic coating
A coating of drying or non-drying oil, grease, lacquer, varnish, paint or any organic
material.
1.3.4 Phosphating process (accelerated)
A process which uses a metal phosphate/phosphoric acid type solution containing additions
such as water-soluble oxidizing agents, e.g. nitrates, nitrites, chlorates and hydrogen
peroxide, that accelerates the coating formation.
1.3.5 Phosphating process (unaccelerated)
A process which uses a metal phosphate/phosphoric acid type solution without additions
which accelerate coating formation.
1.3.6 Sealing
The application of an organic coating to a phosphated surface.
1.3.7 Sealing rinse
Use of a chromium based or chromium free chemistry to seal a phosphate coating.
1.3.8 Smut
A reaction product remaining on the surface of a metal after a pickling or an etching
operation.
1.3.9

Staining

The application of a coloured solution or a dye to impregnate a phosphated surface.

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1.4
1.4.1

AS 1627.6-2003

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
General

For effluent disposal, ventilation, protective clothing and safety equipment, reference shall
be made to the relevant regulatory authority and material safety data sheet.
Personnel who carry out metal finishing treatments shall be instructed in safe working
methods (see AS 1470).
1.4.2 Health hazards
Operators shall be aware of the health hazards involved in the handling of the various
materials, chromate solutions or additives referred to in this Standard. If the user is
unfamiliar with the hazards which may be associated with any material or process,
consultation shall be carried out with the supplier of the material or with chemical safety
experts.
NOTE: Information is available from the material safety data sheet.
1.4.3 Handling solutions
Personnel shall be instructed in the safe handling of solutions. Attention is drawn to the safe
storage and handling information for corrosive and hazardous chemicals contained in
AS 2508 and AS 3780.
1.4.4 Protective clothing
Suitable safety clothing including face and eye protection devices, rubber aprons, boots and
gloves shall be worn where hazards resulting from splashing may occur (see AS/NZS 1337
and AS/NZS 2161).
1.4.5 Ventilation
Adequate ventilation shall be provided for all chemical treatment operations, to protect the
health of operators.
1.4.6 Respiratory protection
Approved respiratory protection devices shall be provided where fuming hazards exist (see
AS/NZS 1715 and AS/NZS 1716).
1.4.7 Safety signs
Safety signs complying with AS 1319 shall be prominently displayed in the working area.
1.4.8 Washing facilities
Sufficient washing facilities shall be provided in case of accidental splash or spillage of
solutions which may burn, irritate or otherwise be harmful when in contact with the skin.
The equipment shall include an eyewash facility of appropriate type in each room where
corrosive substances are handled. It should comprise a permanently fixed aerated eyewash
system which can be operated without using hands.
The equipment shall also include at least one safety shower of an appropriate type located
not more than 10 m travel distance from the source of corrosive liquid.
1.5 DISPOSAL OF WASTE SOLUTIONS
Prior to the disposal of waste solutions contact shall be made with the relevant local
environmental and waste disposal authorities to determine the most appropriate disposal
method. In regard to the transport of dangerous goods by road or rail, reference should be
made to the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG
Code).
NOTE: The ADG Code is obtainable from Government bookshops.
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AS 1627. 6-2003

SECTION 2 PHOSPHATE CONVERSION


TREATMENT
2.1

SCOPE OF SECTION

This Section specifies requirements for phosphate coatings and gives information on
methods of application of the coatings.
2.2
2.2.1

COATING CLASSIFICATION
Coatings for iron and steel

Phosphated surfaces of iron and steel are classified as follows:


(a)
Class A 1-Heavyweight Class Al heavyweight coatings consist essentially of
manganese-iron phosphate and have a mass of not less than 7.5 g/m 2 of treated
surface. This class will normally be used where maximum protection is desired,
particularly under oils or greases.
(b) Class A 2-Heavyweight Class A2 heavyweight coatings consist essentially of zinc
phosphate and have a mass of not less than 7.5 g/m 2 of treated surface. This class
usually is used for the same purposes as Class Al, where a good degree of protection
is desired, coupled with a more rapid speed of processing.
(c)
Class B-Medium weight Medium weight coatings consist essentially of zinc or
other metal phosphates and have a minimum mass of 4.3 g/m 2 of treated surface. This
class is used for general protective purposes under paint coatings and under oils and
greases for less severe duty than heavyweight coatings.

(d)

(e)

When these processes are used on light gauge sheet under a hard paint-type coating, it
is advisable to limit the coating mass to not more than 7.5 g/m 2 to prevent excessive
paint flaking should damage by denting occur.
Class C Lightweight Lightweight coatings consist essentially of zinc or other metal
phosphates and have a mass of 1.3 g/m 2 to 4.3 g/m 2 of treated surface. This class is
essentially a pretreatment for painting and is used for light gauge steel under paints,
varnishes, or lacquers of high protective value.
Class D-Extra lightweight Extra lightweight coatings consist essentially of iron
phosphate and have a mass of 0.3 g/m 2 to 1.3 g/m 2 of treated surface. This class is
used for the same purpose as Class C.

2.2.2 Coatings for non-ferrous metals


Phosphate coatings on non-ferrous metals are not classified. Coatings used under paints,
varnishes and related coatings shall have a mass of 0.1 g/m 2 to 5.0 g/m 2 of treated surface.
2.3 REQUIREMENTS FOR PHOSPHATE COATINGS
2.3.1

General requirements

Phosphated surfaces shall be uniform and matt. They shall be adherent, free from untreated
patches and from flaky and uneven deposits (sometimes caused by excessive sludge in the
bath) and from such residues of the processing solution as may initiate deterioration of the
organic coating or premature corrosion. Iron and steel surfaces phosphated with Classes A1,
A2, B and C coatings have crystalline structure.
Samples of the treated components, or test panels processed simultaneously with the
components, shall comply with the requirements of Clauses 2.3.2 and 2.3.3. If specified by
the purchaser, the components shall also comply with the requirements of Clause 2.3.4.
NOTE: Heating the metal to a temperature in excess of 120C should be avoided (see
Clause 2.3.4).
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AS 1627. 6-2003

Where test specimens are used, they shall be similar in composition and surface preparation
to the components they represent and shall be processed simultaneously with them, taking
care where spray-phosphating processes are involved, that the specimens are held securely
to present their full surface area for processing.
2.3.2

Coating mass

When determined on iron and steel by the appropriate method given in Appendix B, the
coating mass shall conform to the limits specified in Table 2.1.
TABLE 2.1
PHOSPHATE COATING MASS
REQUIREMENTS FOR IRON
AND STEEL
Coati g mass
Class of process

g/ m
Min.

Al

and

A2

Max.

7.5

4.3

1.3

4.3

0.3

1.3

The determination of phosphate coating mass on zinc and aluminium and its alloys shall be
carried out in accordance with the appropriate method specified in Appendix B.
2.3.3 Freedom from corrosive residues
To confirm the efficiency of the rinsing procedures, samples of the sealed components or
test panels shall be subjected to the test specified in Appendix C. At the end of the test they
shall show no rust or other defects, e.g. blistering or flaking of the organic coating. Where
the organic coating comprises a multiple-coat paint system, the test shall be made after the
first coat only has been applied.
Phosphated components to be painted, varnished or similarly coated should first be rinsed
in clean tap water and then preferably in demineralized water, to ensure that the surfaces
are free from any watersoluble residues from previous processing treatments which could
give rise to blistering of the applied film. Demineralized water dripping off the component
shall be collected and its conductivity should not exceed 30 S/em. A sealing rinse can be
used to upgrade the corrosion resistance of the phosphated components.
NOTE: The chemical supplier's recommendations should be sought for suitable products and
application details.
It is equally important that the phosphated surface to be painted shall be free of additional
contamination such as dust or fingerprints.
2.3.4 Resistance to corrosion
Minimum exposure durations resulting in an unacceptable level of corrosion are subject to
agreement by the relevant parties at the time of enquiry or order.

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AS 1627. 6-2003

2.4
2.4.1

10

METHODS OF APPLICATION
General

Phosphating is usually carried out by immersing the component in a coating bath (with
agitation of the solution if necessary), or by copious application or spraying of the
component with the coating solution. Roller application may be used for steel or aluminium
strip. The phosphated components are then rinsed with water, dried and after-treated in a
manner appropriate for their intended end use. Full details of the process conditions should
be obtained from the appropriate operating instructions.
NOTE: Sludge is formed as a normal by-product of the phosphating reaction. It does not usually
interfere with processing. However, methods of agitation which cause sludge to be deposited on
the component should be avoided. Filtration of the bath prevents sludge deposition on the work
pieces.
2.4.2

Surface preparation

Before processing, all scale, rust, grease, oil, fingerprints and foreign matter should be
removed from the surface to be coated, by a method or combination of methods suitable for
the particular phosphating process concerned, (see AS 1627.1). To avoid having a
phosphate coating of coarse grain size or having excessive coating mass per unit area, the
use of strong alkalis or acids for cleaning should be minimized. If the surface condition of
components requires such cleaning prior to phosphating, a grain refining rinse should be
used.
The cleaned components should be adequately rinsed in cold or hot water to remove any
residues from the cleaning process which might affect the composition of the bath solution
or the quality of the coating. A single grain refining rinse may be used immediately prior to
phosphating to favour the formation of fine grain coatings. Such rinses contain materials
based on titanium salts and are widely available from proprietary sources. It is also possible
to incorporate these materials in mildly alkaline spray cleaners, thus obviating the need for
a separate conditioning rinse. In this case rinsing before phosphating is essential.
NOTES:
I Certain processes combine the surface preparation with the phosphating treatment.
2 Components with folds, seams or crevices require special attention to ensure removal of oils
or greases before phosphating.
Where the acid pickling solution contains wetting agents or inhibitors, it may be necessary
to redip the article in an acid solution free from wetting agent or inhibitor, or in a suitable
alkaline solution, to remove adsorbed films.
2.4.3 Phosphate treatment
The phosphate treatment shall be carried out in accordance with the operating instructions
for the process to ensure that the coating formation is complete. Proper attention shall be
given to the duration of the phosphating treatment, the temperature and composition of the
solution, and the avoidance of air locks. The method for determining coating quality and
resistance to corrosion is shown in Appendix D.
The materials used in the construction of the phosphating plant shall be such that they have
no adverse effect on the quality of the coating produced.
2.4.4 Rinsing
After the phosphate treatment, the components shall be rinsed thoroughly in cold or hot
water to remove any residues of the phosphating solution.

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11

AS 1627.6-2003

In order to avoid undue accumulation of treatment chemicals, rinse waters shall be


discarded when more than 1.0 mL of 0.1 N sodium hydroxide solution (4.0 g NaOH per
litre) is necessary to neutralize a 50 mL sample. The sample of rinse water taken after
stirring is cooled before a titration, using phenolphthalein as the indicator, is carried out. A
permanent pink coloration is taken as the endpoint.
NOTE: Sealing rinse may be specified for free draining articles which do not contain pockets or
crevices. A sealing rinse may be specified for free-draining articles that do not contain pockets or
crevices and that are to be sealed with an oil or a non-drying coating.
2.4.5 Staining
When specified by the purchaser the components shall be stained.
2.4.6

Drying

After the final rinsing the components shall be dried thoroughly (preferably force-dried)
paying special attention to parts with pockets or crevices. Metal temperature should be kept
to a maximum of 120C where possible to prevent dehydration of the coating.
2.4.7

Treatment of creviced components

Care shall be taken to ensure that treatment chemicals are removed from folds, seams or
crevices.
2.4.8 Treatment of composite articles
Composite articles made up of ferrous and non-ferrous parts will normally have their
ferrous parts phosphated before assembly into the article. An exception is made for
composite articles containing zinc, provided that the phosphating solution used does not
cause an undesirable attack on the zinc-base surface.
The phosphating of composite articles of steel and copper-base material shall be limited to
those cases where the copper-base material does not constitute more than 10% of the total
surface, and where it is unlikely that the phosphating solution will penetrate the joints
between the steel and the copper-base material. Tests shall be carried out to ensure that
there is no undesirable attack on the copper-base material and that the phosphating solution
does not become unduly contaminated with copper. In addition, checks shall ensure that the
phosphate coating produced complies with the requirements of this Standard and that the
presence of copper in the phosphate coating has no undesirable effect, such as interference
with the hardening of any paint applied.
The advice of the supplier of the phosphating material is always needed when the treatment
of composite articles is considered, for the following reasons:
(a)

Contamination of the bath by non-ferrous metals may affect the phosphating reaction.

(b)

The phosphating solution may attack one or more of the component metals, e.g.
through galvanic corrosion set up by the contact of dissimilar metals.

2.4.9 Treatment of high tensile steels


High tensile steel shall be stressed relieved before phosphating, followed by baking after
phosphating, to reduce the likelihood of hydrogen embrittlement.
When specified, the resistance to corrosion test (see Clause 2.3.4) shall be carried out
subsequently to any hydrogen embrittlement relief.
Requirements on stress relief before phosphating and baking treatment after phosphating for
high tensile steels are given in Appendix E.
NOTE: Attention is drawn to the possible dehydration of phosphating coating, particularly those
of zinc phosphate and the consequent lowering of corrosion resistance by de-hydrogenizing
treatment at relatively high temperatures. Preferably, zinc phosphate coating should not be heated
above 130C and manganese phosphate coatings not above 170C.
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AS 1627.6-2003

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2.4.10 Coating
After rinsing and drying, the phosphated surface may be coated. The coating to be applied
should be specified in the product Standard or on the drawing governing the manufacture of
the component. The coating shall be carried out with the minimum of delay. Where the
process is to be finished by paint, varnish or lacquer, an interval with a maximum delay of
24 h is recommended between the phosphating and the application of the primer coat.
During this period, the phosphated components shall be stored under conditions that
preclude contamination or condensation of moisture on the surface.
The removal of surface dust before coating is permissible, but shall be carried out without
damage to the phosphate coating.

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13

AS 1627.6-2003

SECTION 3
CHROMATE CONVERSION
TREATMENT OF ALUMINIUM, MAGNESIUM,
ZINC AND THEIR ALLOYS
3.1

SCOPE OF SECTION

This Section classifies chromate conversion coatings, including chromium-phosphate into


four classes, specifies requirements for each class and gives information on methods of
application.
3.2

COATING CLASSIFICATION

The nature of chromate finishes can range from thick brown coatings providing maximum
corrosion protection, to yellow coatings of intermediate thickness, suitable as a base for
organic films or to colourless, thin coatings which have low electrical contact resistance.
The yellow coatings vary from golden yellow to iridescent light yellow and the chromatephosphate finishes range in colour from green to iridescent light green.
Finishers can seldom guarantee to supply exact shades of colour with chromate conversion
coatings. If it is necessary to have exact shades of colour, it is possible to dye chromate
coatings which have a coating mass greater than 0.4 g/m 2 to obtain a wide range of colours.
The addition of the dye does not affect the corrosion resistance of the coatings. The colour
and colour uniformity of chromate conversion coatings will vary between one alloy and
another, and from a polished surface to an etched surface. Iridescence differences and
variations in colour density from one area of the surface to another are normal and should
not be considered a sign of poor quality.
The finishes are divided into four classes, the most important characteristics of which are
listed in Table 3.1.
TABLE 3.1
CLASSIFICATION OF CHROMATE COATINGS
Class

Appearance

Coating mass per


2 unit
area, g/m

Properties

Yellow to brown

0.4-2

Maximum corrosion resistance, generally


used as the final finish. Can be used as a
paint base

Colourless to yellow

0.1 -0.4

Moderate corrosion resistance.


Used as a paint base and for bonding to
rubber and low electrical contact
resistance.

Colourless

Light green to green


(chrome-phosphate)

<0.1
0.2-5

Decorative, corrosion resistance, low


electrical contact resistance
Low corrosion resistance.
Used uncoated or as a paint base and for
bonding to rubber

NOTES:
1

No relationship exists between the class numbers and the degree of corrosion resistance.

No relationship exists between these class numbers and those specified in AS 1789.

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3.3
3.3.1

14

REQUIREMENTS FOR CHROMATE COATINGS


General requirements

Chromate conversion coatings harden with age by gradual dehydration. They should
therefore be handled carefully for the first 24 h after treatment, and any tests (including
corrosion tests) should be deferred until after that period. The green chromate-phosphate
coatings achieve their maximum corrosion resistance after a longer storage period, usually I
to 2 months at room temperature.
3.3.2 Test specimens and sampling
Unless otherwise specified, sampling plans given in AS 2483 shall be used to select test
specimens.
The test specimens should be of the same alloy and surface condition as the articles they
represent.
3.3.3

Coating mass

When determined in accordance with one of the procedures specified in Appendix F, the
mass of the coating per unit area of coated surface shall conform to the values given in
Table 3.1.
NOTE: It should be recognized that heavier coating masses do not always provide better
performance, particularly when used as an organic film or adhesive base.
3.3.4 Adhesion
The coatings shall be adherent and non-powdery. There are no practical tests for measuring
the adhesion of a chromate conversion coating on aluminium. However, a practical
evaluation of the adhesion can be made by measuring the adhesion of a secondary organic
film applied to the chromated aluminium. When required by the product Standard, the
chromate conversion coating shall pass the organic coating adhesion test specified in
AS 1580.408.4.
3.3.5

Corrosion resistance of chromate coating on aluminium

When subjected to the neutral salt spray test specified in AS 2331.3.1, three separate coated
test specimens (75 x 250 mm) shall withstand exposure for the period specified in Table 3.2
without giving evidence, to the unaided eye, of more than a total of eight isolated spots or
pits. None shall be larger than 1 mm in diameter. No individual test specimen shall have
more than five isolated spots or pits. Spots situated within 10 mm of the edges of the test
specimens are not counted.

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15

AS 1627.6-2003

TABLE 3.2
CORROSION RESISTANCE REQUIREMENTS
OF CHROMATE COATINGS ON ALUMINIUM WHEN SUBJECTED
TO THE NEUTRAL SALT SPRAY TEST
Exposure time, h
Coating
class

Non heat treatable wrought


alloys and cast alloys with a
nominal silicon content <_ 1 %

Cast alloys with a nominal silicon


content >1

336

48

168

24

120

12

336

48

NOTES:
1

Class numbers are assigned on the basis of traditional usage and do not reflect a ranking
of corrosion resistance.

The exposure times are indicative of the relative corrosion resistance of the various
coating classes and the different alloy types, but no direct relationship exists between
performance in the neutral salt spray test and performance in service.

3.3.6 Coating identification


3.3.6.1

Colourless, yellow or brown coatings

NOTE: The presence of chromium in the coating may be checked using the test method given in

Appendix G.
3.3.6.2 Green coatings
NOTE: When the manufacturer is required to distinguish between chromate-phosphate coatings,
zinc-phosphate coatings and anodized coatings, the test method given in Paragraph G4 and G5 of
Appendix G may be used to determine the presence of phosphate and zinc.
3.4 METHODS OF APPLICATION
3.4.1

Surface preparation

The surfaces of the parts to be chromated shall be clean and free of any oxidation, scale,
solids or staining, such as metal turnings, grinding dust, oil, grease, lubricants, hand-sweat
or any other contamination detrimental to the final finish, (see AS 1627.1). The parts shall
be cleaned before chromating and, if necessary, pickled.
NOTE: Figure H1 of Appendix H shows the various treatment stages that may be used in the
chromating process for aluminium and its alloys.
3.4.2

Method of application of chromate coatings

Chromate conversion coatings are normally applied by dipping in a non-agitated solution


but may also be applied by inundation, spraying, roller-coating or by wipe-on techniques. If
a spraying method is used, the solution should be applied with low pressure to minimize
mist formation. The application method used should be in accordance with the operating
instructions for the chromating process employed. Chromating solutions are usually acidic
and may contain hexavalent chromium salts together with other salts which may be in
variable concentrations depending on the required appearance and hardness of the film. The
colour of the film and the type of conversion coating are dependent on the composition of
the chromating solution, but are also affected by its pH and temperature, the duration of the
treatment and the nature and surface condition of the alloy being treated.
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AS 1627.6-2003

3.4.3

16

Rinsing and drying

Each extrusion and preformed section shall be given a thorough cleaning treatment using
proprietary solutions, followed by rinsing, according to a procedure specified by the
supplier of the conversion coating chemicals. A chemical conversion coating shall then be
applied. The amount of conversion coating deposited shall be within the limits specified by
the chemical supplier.
The conversion coating shall be thoroughly rinsed with deionized water to the
specifications of the chemical supplier, and then dried at the temperature and for the time
specified by the chemical supplier. The conductivity of the deionized water draining off the
rinsed work pieces shall not exceed 30 S/cm at 20C. The metal surface, after conversion
coating pretreatment and prior to the application of any powder organic coating, should be
free from dust or powdery deposits.
NOTE:
I
The application of powder organic coating should be carried out as soon as possible after the
pretreatment. Delays in excess of 48 hours may result in inferior adhesion and weathering
properties.
2 Non-chrome pretreatment systems require strict process control and should only be used and
applied in accordance with chemical suppliers' procedures.
3 A non-sealed anodic pretreatment applied to produce a film thickness of 3 gm minimum, but
not greater than 8 m, can be used as a pretreatment for aluminium-alloy extrusions, sheet or
preformed sections.

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AS 1627.6-2003

APPENDIX A
PURCHASING GUIDELINES
(Normative)
Al GENERAL
Australian Standards are intended to include the technical provisions necessary for relevant
products, but do not purport to comprise all the necessary provisions of a contract. This
Appendix contains the information to be supplied by the purchaser at the time of enquiry or
order.
Its aims are to avoid misunderstanding, and to ensure that the purchaser receives
satisfactory products and services.
A2 INFORMATION TO BE SUPPLIED BY THE PURCHASER
The purchaser shall supply the following information at the time of enquiry or order:
(a)

The nominal composition or specification and metallurgical condition of the substrate


metal surface.

(b)

The type of chemical conversion treatment and class of coating required.

(c)

The type of cleaning or surface preparation to be employed prior to the conversion


treatment.

(d)

The coating mass per unit area and, if applicable, the coating thickness.

(e)

Whether a resistance to corrosion test is required and, if so, the test requirements.

(f)

Quality control and inspection requirements.

(g)

Any special requirements or requirements for after-treatment, stress relieving or heat


treatment.

(h)

Requirements for surface appearance.

(i)

Reference to this Australian Standard, i.e. AS 1627.6.

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18

APPENDIX B
TEST METHODS FOR THE DETERMINATION OF PHOSPHATE
COATING MASS
(Normative)
B1

GENERAL

This Appendix describes the strip-and-weigh method for determining the articles of iron or
steel, of non-electroplated zinc, and of aluminium/aluminium alloys.
B2 PRINCIPLE
Two of the methods employ stripping and weighing of the test specimens to determine the
phosphate coating mass. The third method requires analysis of an aliquot of the stripping
solution.
B3 TEST SPECIMENS
The test specimens shall have a total surface area large enough to give a loss of mass
sufficient to test, with adequate sensitivity, conformity with the requirements of the relevant
material or product specification.
In order to achieve an adequate accuracy in the determination, the total surface area shall be
in conformity with Table B3.1.
TABLE B3.1
TOTAL SURFACE AREA OF TEST SPECIMENS
Expected mass of coating
per unit area

Minimum total surface area


of test specimen

g/m 2

cm 2

>1

<1
<_10

>10

525

>25
>50

<_50

400
200
100
50
25

In order to achieve an overall precision of 5%, the surface areas shall be measured to an
accuracy of 1%.
For irregular shaped objects process a test panel of the same composition as the article so
that the surface area can be accurately determined.
The test specimens shall be clean and free from oil, grease and other foreign materials.
B4 DETERMINATION OF COATING MASS ON STEEL USING THE CHROMIC
ACID METHOD
B4.1 Reagent
Dissolve 200 g/L chromic acid in sufficient water to make 3.8 to 4.0 L. In use, the reagent
becomes depleted and should be discarded when a clean strip can no longer be readily
obtained.

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B4.2

AS 1627.6-2003

Procedure

The procedure shall be as follows:


(a)

Place the stripping reagent in a beaker and heat to between 70 and 80C.

(b)

Establish the phosphate coated area of the test piece in square centimetres and weigh
the test pieces to the nearest 0.1 milligram.

(c)

Immerse the specimen for 15 s in the hot stripping reagent.

(d)

Remove the specimen and rinse promptly in cold running water.

(e)

Dry the specimen by means of clean, dry compressed air, or by dipping in acetone
and holding the specimen in front of a fan.

(f)

Re-weigh the stripped specimen until a constant mass is obtained.

In order to establish that the test procedure and reagent conditions are satisfactory, reimmerse the stripped panel in the reagent for the same length of time and at the same
temperature. Re-weigh the specimen. The loss in mass shall be less than 0.1 g/m 2 .
NOTES:
1 The use of a pyrex beaker is chemically desirable but is liable to crack under the test
conditions. An 18-8 stainless steel beaker may be used. However, since bimetallic contact of
the test specimen with stainless steel increases the loss in mass, for precise work it is
desirable to suspend the panel with a glass hook to avoid the formation of electro-chemical
cells.
2 The stripping agent should be discarded, or the test repeated, when there is apparent slowing
of the stripping rate, or if the loss in mass of a control specimen becomes excessive. At least
every tenth specimen should be restripped a sufficient number of times to check the solution.
B4.3 Calculation of coating mass
The mass per unit surface area,
following equation:
M

'

A mt

MA ,

expressed in grams per square metre, is given by the

X10

. . . B4.1

where
m,

= the mass of the coated test specimen, in milligrams

m2

= the mass of the test specimen after the coating has been dissolved, in
milligrams

= the area of the coated surface of the test specimen, in square centimetres

B5 PHOSPHATE COATINGS ON ZINC


B5.1

Reagent

Ammonium dichromate solution in 25% to 30% mass fraction ammoniac. During


preparation of the solution, its temperature shall not exceed 25C.
B5.2

Procedure

Dry the test piece (area A, square centimetres, see B4.3), and weigh it, to the nearest 0.1
mg, using the analytical balance (mass m 1 , in milligrams, see B4.3). Then immerse the test
piece for 3 min to 5 min in reagent B5.1 at room temperature. Carry out this operation in a
fume cupboard. Rinse the test piece immediately in clean running water than in distilled
water; dry rapidly and reweigh (mass m 2 , in milligrams, see B4.3).
Use freshly prepared reagent for every test piece.

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20

B6 CRYSTALLINE PHOSPHATE COATING ON ALUMINIUM AND ITS ALLOYS


B6.1 Reagent
Nitric acid (p 20 1.42g/mL).
B6.2 Procedure
Dry the test piece (area A, square centimetres, see B4.3), and weigh it, to the nearest
0.1 mg, using an analytical balance (mass m i , in milligrams, see B4.3). Then immerse the
test piece either 5 min in the reagent B6.1 maintained at 75C 5C or for 15 min in the
same reagent at room temperature. Rinse the test piece immediately in clean running water
and then in distilled water; dry rapidly and reweigh (mass m 2 , in milligrams, see B4.3).
Use freshly prepared reagent for every test piece.
B7 CHROMATE AND AMORPHOUS PHOSPHATE COATINGS ON ALUMINIUM
AND ITS ALLOYS
B7.1

Fresh coatings

B7.1.1 General
Fresh coatings are those dried between 25C and 40 C for at least 3 h and not longer than
5 h.
B7.2 Reagent
Nitric acid diluted 1 to 1, prepared by adding l volume of nitric acid
I volume of water.

(p20

1.42g/mL) to

B7.3 Procedure
Air-dry the test piece (area A, in square centimetres, see B4.3) and weigh it, to the nearest
0.1 mg, using an analytical balance (mass m 1 , in milligrams, see B4.3). Then immerse the
test piece for 1 min in the reagent B7.2 at room temperature. Rinse the test piece
immediately in clean running water and then in distilled water; dry rapidly and reweigh
(mass m2 , in milligrams, see B4.3).
Use freshly prepared reagent for every test piece.
B8 TEST REPORT
The test report shall include the following information:
(a)

Name of testing authority.

(b)

Report number and date of issue.

(c)

Batch number and details of the material under test.

(d)

Test method used.

(e)

Location and details of test samples and test specimens.

(f)

Results of the test, and a statement of compliance or otherwise with the requirements
of this Standard.

(g)

Results of any retest carried out.

(h)

Reference to this Appendix, i.e. Appendix B of AS 1627.6.

(i)

Testing technician's name and signature

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AS 1627.6-2003

APPENDIX C
TEST METHOD FOR DETERMINING THE FREEDOM OF PHOSPHATE
COATINGS FROM CORROSIVE RESIDUES
(Normative)
C1 GENERAL
This Appendix describes a method for checking the efficiency of the rinsing procedures of
components that have been phosphated. The test is carried out on sealed test specimens and
indicates the presence of harmful types of water-soluble matter under the paint film. It is
particularly valuable for showing contamination by fingermarks, or through splashing.
C2 PRINCIPLE
Sealed test specimens are exposed to humid conditions for a period of seven days and are
subsequently examined for damage resulting from corrosive residues.
C3 PROCEDURE
The procedure shall be as follows:
(a)

Suspend the test specimens for a period of seven days at a temperature between 13 C
and 21C in a closed vessel in which the air is kept humid by water contained in the
bottom of the vessel.

(b)

At the end of the seven days, remove the test specimens and inspect them
immediately for signs of rust or blistering of the paint film.

C4 TEST REPORT
A test report shall include the following information:
(a)

Name of the testing authority.

(b)

Report number and date of issue.

(c)

Batch number and details of the materials under test.

(d)

The test results.

(e)

Reference to this test method, i.e. Appendix C of AS 1627.6.

(f)

Testing technician's name and signature

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22

APPENDIX D
DETERMINATION OF CORROSION RESISTANCE OF
PHOSPHATE COATINGS
(Normative)
D1 DETERMINATION OF CORROSION RESISTANCE OF PHOSPHATE
COATED FERROUS METALS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN AFTER-TREATED
OR ORGANICALLY COATED
D1.1

Principle

The phosphated components or test specimens to be examined are exposed to the neutral
salt spray test for a specific period.
D1.2 Procedure
Subject the phosphated test specimens or components to the neutral salt spray test specified
in AS 2331.3.1 for the minimum period given in Table Dl.1. After exposure, remove for
evaluation.
TABLE D1.1
MINIMUM NEUTRAL SALT SPRAY
EXPOSURE TIMES FOR
PHOSPHATED FERROUS COMPONENTS
Type of coating

Coating mass
per unit area
g/m

Minimum
exposure time
h

Zinc phosphate

>10

Manganese phosphate

>15

1.5

D2 DETERMINATION OF CORROSION RESISTANCE OF PHOSPHATE


CONVERSION COATINGS WHICH HAVE BEEN AFTER-TREATED WITH
CORROSION-PREVENTING OILS
D2.1

Principle

Phosphated test specimens after-treated with the appropriate corrosion-protecting medium


are subjected to the neutral salt spray (NSS) test. The test may be used either to evaluate a
specific corrosion-protecting system or for comparative testing of phosphate conversion
coatings in conjunction with a specific corrosion-preventing oil.
D2.2
D2.2.1

Procedure
To evaluate a specific corrosion protecting system

Immerse the phosphated component or test specimen in the corrosion-protecting medium


under examination, following carefully the appropriate instructions and ensuring that the
liquid, semi-solid or waxy film which is thereby formed on the phosphated surface is free
from air bubbles and discontinuities.
Before testing, suspend the test specimens for at least 24 h at a temperature of 23C 5 C
and a relative humidity not exceeding 65%, in a dustfree and draught-free atmosphere, to
allow the surplus of oil to drip off and the solvents to evaporate.

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AS 1627.6-2003

D2.2.2 For comparative testing


Suspend the phosphated test specimens (previously dried at a temperature of between
1 00C and 120C and cooled to room temperature) from suitable plastic hooks or plasticcoated steel hooks and immerse them vertically in the selected oil for 1 min at a
temperature of 25 2C. During this time, move the test specimens gently to and fro and
then withdraw them gradually from the oil in about 30 s. The oil film so formed on the
phosphated surface shall be free from air bubbles and discontinuities.
Suspend the test panels for at least 24 h at a temperature of 23 5C and a relative humidity
not exceeding 65%, in a dustfree and draught-free atmosphere, prior to testing.
D2.3 Neutral salt spray test
Minimum exposure durations resulting in an unacceptable level of corrosion shall be agreed
by the relevant parties at the time of enquiry or order.
Subject the treated components or test specimens (see Paragraphs D2.2.1, D2.2.2 and Table
D1) to the neutral salt spray test specified in AS 2331.3.1.
NOTE: To determine the exposure times attainable by a specific corrosion-protecting system, take
test pieces from the test chamber at predetermined intervals and examine them visually for
evidence of corrosion. The test may require the after-treatment oil to be removed before visual
examination is carried out.
For a specific phosphate coating, considerable variation may occur in the exposure time to
give the first occurrence of corrosion, depending on the composition of the after-treatment
medium and the coating level. The specifying of minimum exposure times for after-treated
phosphate conversion coatings should always relate to the specific product and coating
level of corrosion-preventing oils, greases and waxes. The coating level is determined in
grams per square metre, by mass difference.
D3 TEST REPORT
The test report shall include the following information:
(a)

Name of testing authority.

(b)

Report number and date of issue.

(c)

Class of phosphate coating (if on steel).

(d)

Details of corrosion-preventing oil, if applicable.

(e)

The test results.

(f)

Reference to this test method, i.e. Appendix D of AS 1627.6.

(g)

Signature of testing technician

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24

APPENDIX E
POST-COATING TREATMENTS OF IRON OR STEEL TO REDUCE THE RISK
OF HYDROGEN EMBRITTLEMENT
(Normative)
El SCOPE
This Appendix establishes procedures for reducing susceptibility or degree of susceptibility
to hydrogen embrittlement that can arise in surface finishing processes.
The heat treatment procedures established in this Appendix have been shown to be effective
in reducing the susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement. These heat-treatment procedures
are used after surface finishing, but prior to any secondary conversion coating operation.
Stress-relief heat treatment procedures applied after fabrication, but prior to surface
finishing, are specified in AS 1627.1-2003 Appendix C.
This Appendix does not apply to fasteners.
NOTES:

1
2
3

For hydrogen embrittlement of fasteners refer to AS 4291.1.


The heat treatment does not guarantee complete freedom from the adverse effects of hydrogen
embrittlement.
Attention is drawn to the possible dehydration of phosphate coatings, particularly those of
zinc phosphate and the consequent lowering of corrosion resistance by a de-hydrogenizing
treatment at relatively high temperatures. Preferably, zinc phosphate coatings should be
heated above 130C and manganese phosphate coatings not above 170C.

E2 REQUIREMENTS
Heat treatment shall be performed on coated metals in order to reduce the risk of hydrogen
embrittlement. In all cases, the heat-treatment shall be deemed to commence at the time at
which the whole of each article attains the specified temperature.
Articles made from steel with actual tensile strengths greater than or equal to 1000 MPa
( with corresponding hardness values of 300 HV, 303 HB, or 31 HRC) and surface-hardened
parts shall require heat treatment unless class ER-0 is specified. Preparation involving
cathodic treatment in alkaline or acidic solutions shall be avoided. Additionally, the
selection of electroplating solutions with high cathodic efficiencies is recommended for
steel components with tensile strengths greater than 1400 MPa (with a corresponding
hardness values of 425 HV, 401 HB, or 43 HRC).
Table E4.1 lists the embrittlement-relief heat-treatment classes from which the purchaser
may specify the treatment required, to the electroplater, supplier or processor either on the
part drawing or on the purchase order. When no embrittlement-relief treatment class is
specified by the purchaser, then class ER-1 shall be applied.
NOTE:

The treatment class selected is based upon experience with the part or similar parts, and the
specific alloy used, or with empirical test data. Some parts, because of factors such as alloy
composition and structure, trap-population density, size, mass or design parameters might
perform satisfactorily with no embrittlement-relief treatment. Therefore, the class ER-0
treatment is provided for parts that the purchaser wishes to exempt from treatment.

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AS 1627.6-2003

Class ER-1, one of the longest treatments, is the default when the purchaser does not specify
a class. The electroplater, supplier or processor is not normally in possession of the necessary
information, such as design considerations, induced stresses from manufacturing operations,
etc., that have to be considered in selection the correct stress relief treatment. It is in the
purchasers' interest that their part designer, manufacturing engineer or other technically
qualified individual specify the treatment class on the part drawing or purchase order in order
to avoid the extra cost of the default treatment.
The use of inhibitors in acid pickling baths does not necessarily guarantee the hydrogen
embrittlement is minimized.

E3 EMBRITTLEMENT RELIEF TREATMENT CLASSES


With the exception of surface-hardened parts, the heat treatment condition shall be selected
on the basis of actual tensile strength. When only the minimum tensile strength or if the
tensile strength is not known, the heat treatment condition shall be selected by relating
known or measured hardness values to equivalent tensile strengths. The tensile strength, or
equivalent derived from know or measured hardness values, shall be supplied by the
purchaser.
Steels that have been wholly or partly surface-hardened shall be considered as being in the
category appropriate to the hardness of the surface-hardened layer.
If the purchaser requires any tests to be performed to verify adequate embrittlement relief
treatment, then the test method and the sampling plan to be used shall be specified.
E4 HEAT TREATMENT AFTER PROCESSING
E4.1

Heat treatment

The heat treatment shall commence as soon as possible, preferably within l hour but not
later than 3 hours after surface finishing and before commencement of any grinding or other
mechanical operation. For cadmium, tin, zinc, their alloys or any other coating receiving a
chromate treatment, heat treatment shall be carried out before chromate treatment, with the
exception of electrodeposited zinc-cobalt alloys that should be passivated prior to hydrogen
embrittlement relief heat treatment.
NOTES:
I
Chromate coatings undergo changes at temperatures above 66C. The coating changes from
an amorphous structure to a crystalline structure and no longer exhibits 'self-heating'
properties. Although the crystallised chromate coating will provide satisfactory corrosion
protection under most natural environments, the chromate coating will no longer pass
accelerated corrosion tests.
2 The time period referred to in Paragraph E4.4 is the time between the end of the plating and
the loading of the article concerned into the heat treatment processor.
E4.2

High strength steels

For high strength steels, the conditions given in Table E4.1 and Figure E4.1 shall apply. For
steels of actual tensile strengths less than 1000 MPa, heat treatment after plating is not
essential.
E4.3

Threads and sharp notches

If threads or sharp notches exit or the articles are greater than 25 mm thick, then for articles
electroplated with cadmium or zinc, heat treatment shall be carried out immediately after
electroplating for a minimum period of 24 hours.

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26

E4.4 Surface-hardened, through-hardened and bearing steels.


Electroplated, autocatalytic or phosphate coated steel articles having surface-hardened areas
and through-hardened or bearing steels, that would suffer an unacceptable reduction in
hardness by treatment in accordance with Table E4.1 and Figure E4.1 shall be heat treated
at a lower temperature, but not at less than 130C for a minimum period of 8 hours. For
articles electroplated with cadmium, tin, zinc or their alloys, the minimum period shall be
16 hours for those with a tensile strength below 1400 MPa, and 22 hours for articles with a
tensile strength in the range 1400 MPa to 1800 MPa.
NOTE: Lower temperature treatment may adversely affect the fatigue strength of the article.

E4.5 Hardness loss for chromium steels


Treatment at 440C to 480C reduces the hardness of chromium deposits. It shall not be
applied to steels that can be adversely affected by heat treatment. For such steels, the lower
temperature range, i.e. 190C to 220C, shall be applied. For tempered steels, the article
shall not be heated treated above a temperature that shall be 50 C below the tempering
temperature.
TABLE E4.1
CLASSES OF EMBRITTLEMENT-RELIEF HEAT TREATMENT
FOR HIGH STRENGTH STEELS

Class

Tensile strength
Hardness
of steels R m
HV

Hardness
HB

Hardness
HRC

MPa
ER-0

Temperature

Minimum time
(see Paragraph
E2)

hours

Not applicable (see Paragraph E2, Note 1)

ER-1

1 800

547

520

52

190 to 220

22

ER-2

1700

520

494

50

1 90 to 220

20

ER-3

1600

491

467

48

190 to 220

18

ER-4

1500

464

441

46

190 to 220

16

ER-5

1400

434

413

44

1 90 to 220

14

ER-6

1300

403

393

42

190 to 220

12

ER-7*

1525

472

448

47

177 to 205

12

ER-8

1200

373

354

38

1 90 to 220

10

ER-9

1100

342

325

35

1 90 to 220

ER-10*

1 525

472

448

47

177 to 205

ER-11 *

1800

547

520

52

190 to 220

ER-12*

1500

464

441

46

177 to 205

ER-13

1800

547

520

52

440 to 480

ER-14*

< 1401

<434

<413

<44

130 to 160

ER-15*

1 800

547

520

52

130 to 160

ER-16

< 1400

<434

<413

<44

130 to 160

16

190 to 220

24

ER-17

>

25

* Traditional treatments referred to in some overseas national Standards.

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AS 1627.6-2003

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AS 1627.6-2003

28

APPENDIX F
DETERMINATION OF CHROMATE COATING MASS ON
ALUMINIUM AND ITS ALLOYS
(Normative)
F1 SCOPE
This Appendix specifies two methods for the determination of coating mass per unit area of
a chromate coating on aluminium or aluminium alloys.
The method is applicable to conversion coatings which are free from any supplementary
coating such as oil, water-based or solvent-based polymers, or wax.
F2 TEST SPECIMENS
The test specimens shall be in accordance with Paragraph B3 of Appendix B.
F3 DETERMINATON OF MASS OF FRESH CHROMATE COATINGS
NOTE: Fresh coatings are coatings which have been aged for not longer than 3 h and dried at a
temperature below 70C.
F3.1

Reagent

Nitric acid diluted 1 to 1, prepared by adding 1 volume of nitric acid (p 20 1.42 g/mL)
1 volume of water.
F3.2 Procedure
The following procedure shall be used:
(a)

Air-dry the test specimen and weigh on an analytical balance (mass m,, in
milligrams), to the nearest 0.1 mg, within a period of 3 h following the application of
the chromate coating.

(b)

I mmerse the test specimen for 1 min in the reagent at room temperature.

(c)

Rinse the test specimen immediately in clean running water and then in distilled
water, dry rapidly and re-weigh (mass m 2 , i n milligrams).

(d)

Determine the mass per unit of surface area in accordance with Paragraph F5.
NOTE: Use fresh reagent for each test specimen.

F4 DETERMINATION OF MASS OF AGED CHROMATE COATINGS


WARNING: WHEN USING THIS METHOD, WEAR A VISOR AND
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING. WHEN MELTING THE REAGENT, KEEP AWAY
FROM THE BATH UNTIL THE TOP CRUST IS MELTED, AS THE REAGENT
MAY SPATTER. AVOID ALL CONTACT OF THE REAGENT WITH
ORGANIC MATTER, AS SUCH MIXTURES CAN BE EXPLOSIVE.
F4.1

Reagent

A mixture of 98 parts by mass of solid sodium nitrate and 2 parts by mass of solid sodium
hydroxide.

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F4.2

AS 1627.6-2003

Procedure

The following procedure shall be used:


(a)

Place the reagent in a vessel of a resistant material such as nickel, and heat slowly
from the bottom and sides of the vessel until the mixture has completely melted.

(b)

Dry the test specimen and weigh it on an analytical balance (mass m l , in milligrams),
to the nearest 0.1 mg.

(c)

I mmerse the test specimen in the molten reagent for 2 min to 5 min at a minimum
temperature of 370C.
NOTE: A temperature of 370C may be adequate for certain coatings but, in general,
increasing the temperature to 500C will ensure complete stripping of the coating in all cases.
When using higher stripping temperatures, it is desirable to determine any loss of mass due to
attack on the basis metal by running a blank determination using an uncoated test specimen
and deducting it from the mass loss obtained on the coated test specimen.

(d)

Rinse the test specimen in clean running water taking care to prevent spattering, then
i mmerse it in the nitric acid solution (Paragraph F3.1) for 15 s to 30 s at room
temperature.

(e)

Rinse the test specimen immediately in clean running water and then in distilled
water, dry rapidly and reweigh (mass m2, in milligrams).

(f)

Determine the mass per unit of surface area in accordance with Paragraph F5.

F5 EXPRESSION OF RESULTS
F5.1

Calculation

The mass per unit of surface area,


following equation:
M

= m' A mt

MA ,

expressed in grams per square metre, is given by the

X10

. . . F5.1

where
mi

= the mass of the coated test specimen, in milligrams

m2

= the mass of the test specimen after the coating has been dissolved, in
milligrams

= the area of the coated surface of the test specimen, in square centimetres

F6 TEST REPORT
The test report shall include the following information:
(a)

Name of testing authority.

(b)

Report number and date of issue.

(c)

Class of chromate coating, batch number and details of the aluminium base metal.

(d)

Test method used.

(e)

The test results.

(f)

Reference to this test method, i.e. Appendix F of AS 1627.6.

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30

APPENDIX G
QUALITATIVE TESTING OF THE COMPOSITION
OF CHROMATE COATINGS
(Informative)
GI SCOPE
This Appendix gives three rapid methods which may be used to detect the presence of
chromium, phosphate or zinc in a chromate coating.
G2 REAGENTS
Only analytical grade reagents should be used. The solutions are made up with either
distilled or deionized water.
The following solutions are required:

(a)

Sodium hydroxide, approximately 5% solution.

(b)

Sodium hydroxide, approximately 20% solution.

(c)

Hydrogen peroxide, approximately 30% solution.

(d)

Acetic acid, approximately 10% solution.

(e)

Lead nitrate, approximately 10% solution.

(f)

Nitric acid (p 20 1.42g/mL)

(g)

Nitric acid, approximately 38% solution. Make up by mixing 1 part by volume of


nitric acid of density 1.40 g/cm 3 at 20C with I part by volume of water.

(h)

Ammonium molybdate reagent. Make up by adding 88.5 g ammonium molybdate


((NH 4 )6 Mo 7 O24 . 4H 2 O), 34 mL aqueous ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH) solution with
25% ammonia (NH3), and 240 g ammonium nitrate (NH4NO 3 ). Dissolve in water and
make up to 1 litre.

(i)

Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3).

(j)

Hydrochloric acid, approximately 25% solution.

(k)

Potassium ferrocyanide (K4Fe(CN) 6 ), approximately 5% solution.

(1)

Sulfuric acid, approximately 25% solution.


WARNING: MANY OF THESE REAGENTS ARE EXTREMELY CORROSIVE
AND TOXIC AND REQUIRE CAREFUL HANDLING WITH NO DIRECT
CONTACT. USE ONLY IN A MECHANICALLY VENTILATED FUME
CUPBOARD.

CD

o
r
F
a

G3 DETERMINATION OF THE PRESENCE OF CHROMIUM


The test procedure is as follows:

(a)

Dissolve the chromate layer from a specimen of surface area of about 300 em 2 using
50 mL of 5% sodium hydroxide solution to which 5 mL of 30% hydrogen peroxide
solution has been added. The solution is heated to between 50C and 60C and is
poured over the sample repeatedly until the layer is completely removed.

(b)

Remove and boil the resulting solution until all hydrogen peroxide is destroyed (about
5 min to 6 min), cool it and add 10% lead nitrate solution.

071
an

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31

AS 1627.6-2003

The formation of a yellow precipitate indicates the presence of hexavalent chromium.


The least quantity of total chromium detectable by this method is about 5 mg
chromium per square metre of surface area.
G4 DETERMINATION OF THE PRESENCE OF PHOSPHATE
The test procedure is as follows:
(a)

Dissolve the chromate layer from a specimen of surface area of about 100 em 2 using
100 mL of 5% sodium hydroxide solution heated to between 80C and 90C.

(b)

When the layer is completely removed or the surface is clearly attacked, pour off the
solution and filter it.

(c)

Acidify 25 mL of the filtrate with 38% nitric acid then add 10 mL ammonium
molybdate reagent and 5 g ammonium nitrate.

(d)

After 15 min, the presence of a yellow precipitate confirms the presence of


phosphate.

The least quantity of phosphate detectable by this method corresponds to about 40 mg


per square metre of surface area.

P205

G5 DETERMINATION OF THE PRESENCE OF ZINC


The test procedure is as follows:
2

(a)

Dissolve the chromate layer from a specimen of surface area of about 100 cm
50 mL of 65% nitric acid at room temperature.

(b)

When the layer is completely removed or the surface is clearly attacked, pour off the
solution and filter it through glass wool.

(c)

Neutralize 25 mL of the filtrate with 20% caustic soda until a phenolphthalein


indicator gives a red colouration.

(d)

Add about 10 drops of 25% sulfuric acid to weakly acidify the solution.

(e)

Add 5 mL of 5% potassium ferrocyanide solution. The formation of a greenish-white


precipitate confirms the presence of zinc.

using

The least quantity of zinc detectable by this method corresponds to about 20 mg zinc per
square metre of surface area.

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Standards Australia

AS 1627.6-2003

32

APPENDIX H
CHROMATE TREATMENT SEQUENCE OPTIONS
(Informative)
The sequence of treatments for the chromate conversion of aluminium is dependent on the
surface condition of the parts to be treated, the aluminium alloy used and the desired
appearance of the parts. Figure HI is a flow chart showing the optional treatment stages.

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