Dhruval Patel1, Zachary Jeckell1, David Eitan Barlaz1, Daniel Krogstad2, Brian Jurczyk3, *David Ruzic1
1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL; 2University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL; 3Starfire Industries, Champaign IL
Atmospheric pressure plasmas (APPs) have shown great promise in a variety of manufacturing applications. APPs offer unique opportunities for the industrial application of plasmas, due to the versatility of the technique, the ease of scalability, and the opportunity to perform the technique point of manufacturing. This work focuses on depositing zirconia-silica bilayer coatings as a replacement for hexavalent chromium-based coatings. A new non-thermal process to deposit zirconia was developed using APPs enabling processing on temperature sensitive substrates. Additionally, we investigate APPs to enable lightweight manufacturing for the automotive industry by depositing a thin film of silica that acts as a water intrusion barrier on bonds joints between dissimilar materials. The adhesion tests performed after water soak meets the industry benchmarks. These processes aim to replace wet chemical processes often used by the automotive and aviation industries. The mechanical properties of the films are tested using lap shear, both before and after a water soak test, which successfully demonstrates the films capabilities as a water barrier. The chemical composition is confirmed using both XPS and RBS, and the films morphology is examined using cross sectional SEM.