Atmospheric corrosion of zinc-aluminum and copper-based alloys in chloride-rich environments : Microstructure, corrosion initiation, patina evolution and metal release
Sammanfattning: Fundamental understanding of atmospheric corrosion mechanisms requires an in-depth understanding on the dynamic interaction between corrosive constituents and metal/alloy surfaces. This doctoral study comprises field and laboratory investigations that assess atmospheric corrosion and metal release processes for two different groups of alloys exposed in chloride-rich environments. These groups comprise two commercial Zn-Al alloy coatings on steel, Galfan™ (Zn5Al) and Galvalume™ (Zn55Al), and four copper-based alloys (Cu4Sn, Cu15Zn, Cu40Zn and Cu5Zn5Al). In-depth laboratory investigations were conducted to assess the role of chloride deposition and alloy microstructure on the initial corrosion mechanisms and subsequent corrosion product formation. Comparisons were made with long-term field exposures at unsheltered marine conditions in Brest, France.A multitude of surface sensitive and non-destructive analytical methods were adopted for detailed in-situ and ex-situ analysis to assess corrosion product evolution scenarios for the Zn-Al and the Cu-based alloys. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) were employed for morphological investigations and scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy (SKPFM) for nobility distribution measurements and to gain microstructural information. SEM/EDS, infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (IRAS), confocal Raman micro-spectroscopy (CRM) and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXRD) were utilized to gain information on corrosion product formation and possibly their lateral distribution upon field and laboratory exposures. The multi-analytical approach enabled the exploration of the interplay between the microstructure and corrosion initiation and corrosion product evolution.A clear influence of the microstructure on the initial corrosion product formation was preferentially observed in the zinc-rich phase for both the Zn-Al and the Cu-Zn alloys, processes being triggered by microgalvanic effects. Similar corrosion products were identified upon laboratory exposures with chlorides for both the Zn-Al and the Cu-based alloys as observed after short and long term marine exposures at field conditions. For the Zn-Al alloys the sequence includes the initial formation of ZnO, ZnAl2O4 and/or Al2O3 and subsequent formation of Zn6Al2(OH)16CO3·4H2O, and Zn2Al(OH)6Cl·2H2O and/or Zn5(OH)8Cl2·H2O. The patina of Cu sheet consists of two main layers with Cu2O predominating in the inner layer and Cu2(OH)3Cl in the outer layer, and with a discontinuous presence of CuCl in-between. Additional patina constituents of the Cu-based alloys include SnO2, Zn5(OH)6(CO3)2, Zn6Al2(OH)16CO3·4H2O and Al2O3. General scenarios for the evolution of corrosion products are proposed as well as a corrosion product flaking mechanism for some of the Cu-based alloys upon exposure in chloride-rich atmospheres.The tendency for corrosion product flaking was considerably more pronounced on Cu sheet and Cu4Sn compared with Cu15Zn and Cu5Al5Zn. This difference is explained by the initial formation of zinc- and zinc-aluminum hydroxycarbonates Zn5(OH)6(CO3)2 and Zn6Al2(OH)16CO3·4H2O on Cu15Zn and Cu5Al5Zn, corrosion products that delay the formation of CuCl, a precursor of Cu2(OH)3Cl. As a result, the observed volume expansion during transformation of CuCl to Cu2(OH)3Cl, and the concomitant flaking process of corrosion products, was less severe on Cu15Zn and Cu5Al5Zn compared with Cu and Cu4Sn in chloride-rich environments. The results confirm the barrier effect of poorly soluble zinc and zinc-aluminum hydroxycarbonates Zn5(OH)6(CO3)2 and Zn6Al2(OH)16CO3·4H2O, which results in a reduced interaction between chlorides and surfaces of Cu-based alloys, and thereby reduced formation rates of easily flaked off corrosion products. From this process also follows reduced metal release rates from the Zn-Al alloys.
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