oa South African Journal of Chemistry - Lewis acid-base properties of a low carbon aluminium killed steel substrate

Volume 60, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-4350



An important factor in achieving maximum adhesion of a particular coating system to the substrate lies in the proper preparation of the substrate prior to the application of paint. The Lewis acid-base properties of the outer metal surface play a determinant role in many of these applications, and the chemical reactions involved therein. In this work, the wetting properties of a low carbon aluminium killed (LCAK) substrate have been largely modified by a chemically activated surface treatment. XPS analysis was performed on the surface. Wettability in water, a polar and protic probe liquid, and in α-bromonaphthalene, a non-polar and aprotic probe liquid, of the LCAK surface is strongly modified when the LCAK surface is treated with dilute formic acid and warm water. Formic acid forms formate ions which have a higher reactivity with respect to molecular species and are able to react with the exposed surfaces, changing the relative structure of the hydroxyl layer.

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