IMR Materials Testing Technical Blog
Advanced Corrosion Analysis with Electrochemical Testing Methods
For product development of long-life products, components and materials, it’s not always feasible to perform conventional accelerated weathering corrosion testing. Especially if the materials and coatings used will be exposed harsh environmental conditions, such as sewage, nuclear waste or toxic waste. Products used in these applications are often “mission-critical” and material and/or product failure can have serious public health and environmental consequences. Not to mention adverse financial consequences and public relations challenges.
For service environments where standard pass/fail exposure testing is insufficient, electrochemical corrosion testing offers a more advanced analysis. Testing is performed through a controlled electrochemical reaction between two materials, or between an exposed surface and its surrounding environment. The introduction of voltage or a current to the testing setup rapidly accelerates the effect of the aqueous solution on the material. Therefore, targeted electrolyte solutions can be used to simulate long-term conditions and predict and characterize the corrosive properties of metal materials and components.
Because the method greatly accelerates corrosion effects on the sample (in general corrosion testing), it’s particularly useful for extrapolating long-term material behavior. The process is not a substitute for real-world tests on finished products, but can play a role in evaluating raw materials options.
Applications of Electrochemical Corrosion Testing
- Evaluation of finished medical devices for pitting, crevices, and corrosion susceptibility
- Comparison of raw materials (screening) for corrosion characteristics
- Evaluating effects of passivation or surface modifications on corrosive behavior
- Evaluating/comparing processing effects on corrosion properties
- Evaluating bimetal combinations for galvanic corrosion behavior