Aircraft front fastening plate VHS-497 (2) - Al Cu Sn Zn Si Alloy - Modern Times

Aircraft front fastening plate VHS-497 (2)

Marianne. Senn (Empa, Dübendorf, Zurich, Switzerland) & Christian. Degrigny (HE-Arc CR, Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland)

Complementary information

None.

Complementary information

None.

Analyses performed:
Metallography (unetched), Vickers hardness testing, SEM/EDS.

None.

The metal is an aluminium alloy containing Cu, Sn, Zn and Si (Table 1). The unetched metal shows an as-cast structure consisting of the aluminium matrix with Sn (not soluble in Al) inclusions (Figs. 4 and 5), intermetallic compounds such as Al2Cu (Fig. 4, red arrows) and clusters of Al,Fe,Cu & Si phases (Fig. 4, black arrows). There are porosities in the metal (Figs. 3 and 5). The average hardness of the metal is HV1 80.

Elements

Al Cu Sn Zn Si Fe O Fe Total
Metal (average) 89 4.6 3 1.6 1 < 0.8 < 100
Intermetallic compounds 45 55 < < < < < < 100
Al,Fe,Si,Cu phase clusters 58 11 < < 7.5 29 3.4 29 109
Sn inclusions < < 100 < < < < < 100

Table 1: Chemical composition (mass %) of the metal and inclusions (from Fig. 5). Method of analysis: SEM/EDS, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Empa.

Complementary information

None.

No corrosion layer can be seen on the metal surface (Figs. 3 and 6). Under polarized light small white and brown particles are visible on the broken edge (D1, Fig. 7). Their analysis reveals the presence of silica particles surrounded by dirt (Table 2 and Fig. 8). The metal surface is covered by a thin oxygen bearing skin (CP1, Fig. 8).

Elements

O Al Si Cu Total
Adherent particle (average of 3 similar analyses) 55 0.6 50 1.1 106

Table 2: Chemical composition (mass %) of the adhering particles to the metal surface (from Fig. 8). Method of analysis: SEM/EDS, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Empa.

Complementary information

None.

Fig. 9: Stratigraphic representation of the sample taken from the front fastening plate in cross-section (dark field) using the MiCorr application. The characteristics of the strata are only accessible by clicking on the drawing that redirects you to the search tool by stratigraphy representation. This representation can be compared to Fig. 7, credit MiCorr_HE-Arc CR.

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This front fastening plate of Dufaux IV plane is made in cast Al-Cu-Sn-Zn-Si, an alloy rather common at the beginning of the 20th century. No corrosion layer has been found on the metal surface except adherent silica-rich particles and the thin oxidised skin typical of Al alloys. The presence of these materials can be explained by the regular maintenance of the metal, probably using silicon carbide abrasive paper.

References on object and sample

References object
1. Rumo, L. (2008) Analyse et caractérisation des alliages constitutifs de l'avion Dufaux IV. Mémoire Filière conservation-restauration, Haute Ecole art appliqués, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 101-105.

References sample
2. Rumo, L. (2008) Analyse et caractérisation des alliages constitutifs de l'avion Dufaux IV. Mémoire Filière conservation-restauration, Haute école art appliqués, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 101-105.