Aluminum alloys used in aeronautical industry are susceptible to corrosion. The solution to this problem is base chromate materials, which have been heavily regulated and restricted. The development of alternatives begins in the 1970s and the 2000s, where some potential methodologies were established. The sol-gel process is one of these methods, in which thin oxide layers are deposited on the metal substrate. An important aspect is the fact of possible combinations among types of oxides and the incorporation of an organic compound to improve the performance of the films; moreover, this allows the addition of inhibitors and nanomaterials, making this method an interesting and versatile way to obtain a coating. In this chapter, we will describe the importance of the use of coating synthesized via sol-gel in the corrosion protection of metal surfaces. The advantages and disadvantages of using modified sol-gel polymer films and hybrid system coatings will also be discussed, as well as the methodologies for the chemical characterization and the feasibility of evaluating the mechanical properties of the coatings.
Part of the book: Sol-Gel Method