New insights into the mechanism of localised corrosion induced by TiN-containing inclusions in high strength low alloy steel
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This work investigated the chemical and electrochemical mechanisms of localised corrosion triggered by CaS·xMgO·yAl2O3·TiN complex inclusions in high strength low alloy steel (HSLAS) under a simulated marine environment. Special focus was given to the role of the TiN portion of the inclusion on the initiation and growth of the corrosion pits. The thermodynamic process of pitting initiation was investigated by Gibbs free energy, Pourbaix diagram and first principle calculation. Localised corrosion is mainly induced by inclusions and triggered by dissolution of adjacent distorted matrix. Chemical dissolution of CaS portion in CaS·xMgO·yAl2O3·TiN complex inclusion creates an acidic aggressive environment that accelerates the further dissolution of inclusion and matrix. Galvanic coupling effect between TiN inclusion and matrix is directly verified. TiN covered with a TiO2 film acts as the cathodic phase in galvanic corrosion, although it has a lower Volta potential than the matrix. This is an unusual correlation with the scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy result, which has been explained for this special system.