Effects of chloride-to-chromate ratio on the protective action of zinc surface films under atmospheric weathering conditions

Document identifier: oai:dalea.du.se:2693
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Materials Engineering, Teknik och teknologier, Materialteknik, Atmospheric corrosion; chromate; conversion coatings; inorganic inhibitors; chloride; galvanized steel; zinc metal coatings
Publication year: 2007
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The formation and the corrosion protection of newly formed chromium-rich layers on bare zinc surfaces were studied to model the conditions in defected areas of both organic and conversion chromate coatings that are in contact with water environments contaminated with different amounts of chloride ions. Composition of the layers was idenified with Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES), and secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS). The presence of chloride in the range from 0.06 mM to 1, 000 mM in the chromate treating solution had almost no effect on the amount of chromate adsorbed on zinc. Three independent techniques showed that a more than 4-order increase in chloride concentration results in the drop of the chromate content in the surface film only by 20% to 25%. Cr(VI)-to-total Cr surface ratio was close to 0.3 and constant under present experimental conditions. More chromium was detected in the outer region of the film, whereas chloride accumulated in the inner region. As a result of the linear increase of the surface chloride concentration with the chloride concentration in the chromate treating solution, the chloride-to-chromate surface molar ratio increased sharply. The rate of reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) and the corrosion rate of zinc exposed to atmospheric weathering conditions increased significantly with the chloride-to-chromate ratio. The chromate coatings showed good stability and a high level of corrosion protection, up to the ratio of approximately 2. It represented a threshold value below which relatively low rates of the chromate reduction and zinc corrosion were observed, since the significant part of the chloride ions was inactivated in the first hours of exposure by the formation of insoluble corrosion products. A negative effect of the increasing chloride-to-chromate surface molar ratio on corrosion can be seen in the increasing ability to reduce oxygen on the zinc surface measured by the scanning Kelvin probe (SKP) technique. Inhibition of the cathodic reaction by chromate was less effective at higher ratios.


T. Prosek

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D. Thierry

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Mikael Olsson

Högskolan Dalarna; Materialvetenskap
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Ulf Bexell

Högskolan Dalarna; Materialvetenskap
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