The major drawback of current passivation techniques for preventing corrosion is the lack of ability to withstand any external damages or local defects. In this study, oil-impregnated nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) layers are investigated to overcome such limitations and thus advance corrosion protection. By completely filling hydrophobized nanopores with oil via a solvent exchange method, a highly water-repellent surface that prevents the penetration of corrosive media into the AAO layer and hence the corrosion of aluminum is achieved. The impregnation of oil into the hydrophobic nanoporous AAO layer enhances the corrosion resistance of an AAO layer by two and four orders of magnitude compared to that of a hydrophobic (i.e., air-entrained) and a bare (hydrophilic) AAO, respectively. In the presence of local defects, the oil impregnated within the hydrophobic nanoporous AAO layer naturally permeates into the defects and ultimately inhibits the exposure of the aluminum surface to corrosive media. Whereas the corrosion current density of the air-entrained hydrophobic AAO layer increases by more than 30 times after cracks, that of the oil-impregnated AAO layer increases by no more than 4 times, showing superior anticorrosion property even after there are cracks, owing to the effective self-healing capability.
- oil impregnation