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Unraveling the effects of surface preparation on the pitting corrosion resistance of austenitic stainless steel


The effects of surface preparation on the corrosion resistance of AISI 316L austenitic stainless steel were studied using the cyclic potentiodynamic polarization method. Grinding, mechanical polishing, and electropolishing were considered as the surface modifier methods. Regarding the surface roughness parameters, besides the conventional height parameter (Ra), the kurtosis (Rku) as the shape parameter was also considered to rationalize the pitting resistance for the first time. Based on the results of the Tafel extrapolation method, it was revealed that the uniform corrosion can be adequately correlated to Ra. However, the pitting resistance was found to mainly relate to the kurtosis, where by decreasing Rku (increased bluntness of topographic features), the pitting resistance enhanced. It was also found that a surface with Rku less than three (platykurtic) is resistant to pitting attack, where this surface can be obtained via electropolishing performed for an optimum time. The effect of electropolishing on the chromium content at the surface and its relation to the corrosion properties were also discussed.

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The authors greatly thank the members of the “Advanced Steels and Thermomechanically Processed Engineering Materials Laboratory” and the “Coating and Corrosion Lab” for their help and support. Financial support by the University of Tehran is also gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to H. Mirzadeh.

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Sohrabi, M.J., Mirzadeh, H. & Dehghanian, C. Unraveling the effects of surface preparation on the pitting corrosion resistance of austenitic stainless steel. Archiv.Civ.Mech.Eng 20, 8 (2020).

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  • Stainless steels
  • Pitting corrosion
  • Surface treatments
  • Surface roughness
  • Potentiodynamic polarization test