Corrosion and material alterations of a CuZn38Pb3 brass under acoustic cavitation

Ultrason Sonochem. 2019 Nov;58:104628. doi: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2019.104628. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Abstract

An alloy that is exposed to cavitation may experience mechanical cavitation damages as well as accelerated corrosion. In the present paper, the evolution of corrosion erosion behavior of brass samples (CuZn38Pb3) during continuous exposure to ultrasonic cavitation in a salt solution (NaCl) was investigated. Various samples were sonicated for times between 0 min and 5 h. The average surface roughness and the effective surface area of the samples were measured by confocal microscopy, and the surfaces were inspected by scanning electron microscopy. Different erosion behavior of the phases present on the surface is discussed. Complementary to the surface inspection, the corrosion behavior of the samples before, during and after sonication was investigated through open circuit potential, potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques. The results show that at the initial times of sonication preferably the lead islets were removed from the brass surface, resulting in a change in the open circuit potential. α and β' phases showed ductile and brittle behavior under sonication, respectively. The corrosion rate of the alloy under cavitation increased as the sonication time increased, mainly related to the increase in effective surface area and the rise of plastic deformation of the surface material.

Keywords: Brass; Cavitation; Corrosion; Erosion; Polarization.