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2.4.

3 Polarisation Curve for a passivating system

Figure 2-6; Hypothetical polarisation diagram (Roberge P.2000, p. 527) The corrosion susceptibility and propagation of various passivating metals are deduced from polarization diagrams like the one found above. The important data that are likely to be logged when interpreting this graph is the numerous potentials and associated current densities characterising the behaviour of the system during an accelerated corrosion test. The potentials likely to be recorded in a halide containing environment are: Corrosion Potential Passivation Potential Passive Range Pitting Potential

The associated current densities are namely: Corrosion Current Critical current

Passive Current

2.4.3.1 Corrosion Potential (Ecorr) and Corrosion Current density (Icorr) The corrosion Potential also defined as the Open Circuit potential (Eoc) is the free potential, i.e. the system is not under the control of an external e.m.f source, which is set up instantaneously when a corroding metal is in presence of an oxidising electrolyte where the rate of cathodic and anodic reaction are equal. The associated current density at this potential determined by the Tafel slope is the corrosion current. Icorr is an important factor in corrosion science since it will allow the working out of the corrosion rate of the system. 2.4.3.2 Passivation Potential (Epp) and Critical Current density (Icrit) At this specific point in the corroding system, the rate of anodic dissolution is equalled by the rate of oxide formation that constitutes the passive layer protecting the metal from major metal dissolution. Another increase in the applied potential would rather drastically decrease the dissolution rate of the metal or metal oxide, which implies that a protective film growth on the metal surface is promoted. The critical current is the maximum current density exhibited by the system suggesting a maximum corrosion rate. 2.4.3.3 Passive Range and Passive Current density (Ip) The passive range begins with the potential at which the passive film formation is finished and ends with different potentials depending on the electrode and electrolyte system. These potentials may imply a pitting behaviour, oxygen evolution, transpassive corrosion or anodising. Within this range of potentials, the rate of anodic dissolution is independent of the potential. The passive current density is normally several magnitudes lower than the critical current density and is stable in nature, which implies that a high resistance protective film is present. 2.4.3.4 Pitting Potential (Epit) This potential corresponds to that of the protective film breakdown potential when a passivator is in the presence of halide ions depending upon the nature of the metal, the electrolyte and the concentration of the halide ions. This breakdown occurs locally as the name given to it implies.