Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 247–256 | Cite as

Theoretical and experimental study of galvanic coupling effects between carbon steel and stainless steels

  • S. Qian
  • D. Qu
Original Paper


The use of stainless steel in high corrosion risk areas represents a viable option for reducing the life-cycle cost and extending the service life of concrete structures. However, the possible galvanic corrosion between it and carbon steel continues to be a concern. In this article, the galvanic coupling behaviours of carbon steel and three different stainless steels were investigated in simulated pore solutions and concrete specimens. The results showed that the oxygen reduction reaction was much lower on stainless steel than on passive carbon steel, leading to a lower galvanic coupling current between stainless steel and corroding carbon steel than that between passive and corroding carbon steels. However, rust contamination of stainless steel was found to increase galvanic coupling corrosion on carbon steel.


Corrosion Galvanic coupling Reinforcing steel Chlorides Carbon steel Stainless steel 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions and support of The Nickel Institute (previously the Nickel Development Institute), Alberta Transportation, The City of Ottawa, The Ministry of Transportation of Quebec and Valbruna Canada Ltd. Thanks are also due to Bruce Baldock, Glendon Pye, Gordon Chan and Bob Myers of NRC-IRC for their help with the experimental work.


  1. 1.
    Nurnberger U (ed) (1996) Stainless steel in concrete, European federation of corrosion publications, vol 18. Institute of Materials, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Knudsen A, Jensen F, Klinghoffer O, Skovsgaard T (1998) In: International conference on corrosion and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete structures. Orlando, Florida, p 15Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Knudsen A, Skovsgaard T (2001) Concr Eng 5(3):59Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Klinghoffer O, Frolund T, Kofoed B, Knudsen A, Jensen F, Skovsgaard T (2000) In: Mietz J, Polder R, Elsener B (eds) Corrosion of reinforcement in concrete: corrosion mechanisms and corrosion protection, EUROCORR ’99, London, Maney Publishing, pp 121–133Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cochrane D (1999) In: Swamy R (ed) Infrastructure regeneration and rehabilitation improving the quality of life through better construction: a vision for the next millennium. Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield, pp 497–506Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pérez-Quiroz J, Terán J, Herrera M, Martínez M, Genescá J (2008) J Constr Steel Res 64:1317–1324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Abreu C, Cristóbal M, Montemor M, Nóvoa X, Pena G, Pérez M (2002) Electrochim Acta 47:2271–2279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bertolini L, Gastaldi M, Pastore T, Pedeferri M, Pedeferri P (1998) In: International conference on corrosion and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete structures, Orlando, Florida, p 13Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bertolini L, Gastaldi M, Pastore T, Pedeferri M (1999) International congress stainless steel ’99 science and market 3rd European congress proceedings, vol. 3: properties and performances. Associazione Italiana di Metallugia, Chia Laguna, Italy, pp 131–140Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bertolini L, Elsener B, Pedeferri P, Poder R (2004) Corrosion of steel in concrete: prevention, diagnosis, repair. Wiley-VCH, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bertolini L, Pedeferri P (2002) Corros Rev 20:129Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Qian S, Qu D, Coates G (2006) Can Metall Q 45(4):475–484Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hope B (2001) Final report of MTO special project Q900076, ISBN 0-7794-0479-3, MI-181Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Webster H (1997) COR-97-7810-N, CORRENG consulting service Inc, Downsview, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Seibert P (1998) MSc thesis, Queen’s University, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bockris J, Khan S (1993) Surface Electrochemistry: a molecular level approach. Plenum press, New York, p 767Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kabanov B, Burshtein R, Frumkin A (1947) Discuss Faraday Soc 1:259Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Vukovic M (1994) Corros Sci 37:111CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Research Council Canada 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban Infrastructure, Institute for Research in ConstructionNational Research Council CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Advanced Material Chemistry, College of Science and TechnologyKorea University Sejong Campus JochiwonChungnamKorea

Personalised recommendations