Experimental study of reverse crevice corrosion of copper
Crevice corrosion generally occurs on the crevice surface while the exterior or bold surfaces are not damaged. However, for copper and its alloys, the opposite is true; the bold surface is corroded while the crevice remains relatively corrosion-free. This unique type of corrosion is referred to as reverse crevice corrosion (RCC). In this research, commercially pure copper was chosen as the target metal to investigate RCC. Based on electrochemical measurements and surface analysis, reverse crevice corrosion was found to occur at room temperature. At elevated temperature only uniform corrosion was observed while under a deoxygenated environment, as expected, no corrosion was observed. A multiple crevice assembly and a working electrode were designed especially for this research. Exposure test experiments were first performed at room temperature and 50 ºC. Several types of electrochemical tests were conducted including open circuit potential measurement, potentiodynamic measurement and electrochemical impendence spectroscopy (EIS). Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Raman Spectroscopy were used to analyze the surfaces of the copper coupon.The results of the exposure tests showed that RCC occurred at room temperature, but not at elevated temperature. Only uniform corrosion was observed at elevated temperature and no corrosion was occurred under a deoxygenated environment. It was found, based on the open circuit potential measurement, that the RCC process can be divided into three steps, a uniform corrosion phase, a corrosion slow-down step and a reverse crevice corrosion step. The first two steps can be combined into one phase, incubation phase. This hypothesis is supported with the results from Raman spectra and AFM. The EIS measurements revealed that the diffusion process from bulk solution to copper coupon surface is the rate controlling step for incubation phase and this diffusion process combined with the reduction of Cu (I) oxide in the crevice are the rate-controlling step corresponding to the last step.
electrochemical, reverse crevice corrosion, copper, surface analysis
Master of Science (M.Sc.)