Evaluation by the double loop electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation test of aged ferritic stainless steel intergranular corrosion susceptibility
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
An experimental design method was used to determine the effect of factors that significantly affect the response of the double loop-electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation (DL-EPR) test in controlling the susceptibility to intergranular corrosion (IGC) of UNS S43000 (AISI 430) ferritic stainless steel. The test response is expressed in terms of the reactivation/activation current ratio (I r /I a pct). Test results analysed by the analysis of variance (ANOVA) method show that the molarity of the H 2SO4 electrolyte and the potential scanning rate have a more significant effect on the DL-EPR test response than the temperature and the depassivator agent concentration. On the basis of these results, a study was conducted in order to determine the optimal operating conditions of the test as a nondestructive technique for evaluating IGC resistance of ferritic stainless steel components. Three different heat treatments are considered in this study: solution annealing (nonsensitized), aging during 3 hours at 773 K (500 °C) (slightly sensitized), and aging during 2 hours at 873 K (600 °C) (highly sensitized). The aim is to find the operating conditions that simultaneously ensure the selectivity of the attack (intergranular and chromium depleted zone) and are able to detect the effect of low dechromization. It is found that a potential scanning rate of 2.5 mV/s in an electrolyte composed of H 2SO4 3 M solution without depassivator, at a temperature around 293 K (20 °C), is the optimal operating condition for the DL-EPR test. Using this condition, it is possible to assess the degree of sensitization (DOS) to the IGC of products manufactured in ferritic stainless steels rapidly, reliably, and quantitatively. A time-temperature-start of sensitization (TTS) diagram for the UNS S43000 (France Inox, Villepinte, France) stainless steel was obtained with acceptable accuracy by this method when the IGC sensitization criterion was set to I r /I a > 1 pct. This diagram is in good agreement with the time-temperature-start of precipitation (TTP) diagram that delineates the domain of low dechromization consecutive to chromium carbide precipitation.
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