We present a method for assessing the relative vulnerabilites of distinct classes of grain boundaries to localized corrosion. Orientation imaging microscopy provides a spatial map which identifies and classifies grain boundaries at a metal surface. Once the microstructure of a region of a sample surface has been characterized, a sample can be exposed to repeated cycles of exposure to a corrosive environment alternating with topographic measurement by an atomic force microscope in the same region in which the microstructure had been mapped. When this procedure is applied to Ni and Ni-based alloys, we observe enhanced attack at random grain boundaries relative to special boundaries and twins in a variety of environments.
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Bedrossian, P.J., Schwartz, A.J., Kumar, M. et al. Observation of Localized Corrosion of Ni-Based Alloys Using Coupled Orientation Imaging Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy. MRS Online Proceedings Library 586, 81 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-586-81