Morphology and stress evolution during the initial stages of intergranular corrosion of X70 steel
Pipeline steels are vulnerable to stress corrosion cracking (SCC) during intergranular corrosion (IGC) at potentials of active dissolution in moderately alkaline carbonate-bicarbonate solutions. Morphology evolution accompanying IGC has not been fully described, despite the relevance of the corrosion geometry to crack initiation. The present article reports a characterization of concurrent morphology and mechanical stress development during the initial stages of IGC of X70 steel in sodium bicarbonate solution, in the potential range of high SCC susceptibility. Morphology was revealed by scanning electron microscope examination of cross sections through the IGC layer, and stress evolution was monitored by curvature interferometry. At potentials in the range of SCC susceptibility, IGC creates triangular wedges of porous corrosion product centered at grain boundary triple junctions. The wedge shape indicates a higher corrosion rate at the grain boundary compared to the grain surfaces. Compressive stress is generated during IGC due to internal oxidation on grain surfaces forming a thin compact corrosion product layer. Polarization at a potential below the SCC range resulted in selective grain dissolution with no internal corrosion product or compressive stress increase. Silicon solute atoms are selectively oxidized into the compact grain boundary corrosion product film.
This is a manuscript of an article published as Yavas, Denizhan, Abdullah Alshehri, Pratyush Mishra, Pranav Shrotriya, Ashraf F. Bastawros, and Kurt R. Hebert. "Morphology and stress evolution during the initial stages of intergranular corrosion of X70 steel." Electrochimica Acta 285 (2018): 336-343. DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2018.07.207. Posted with permission.