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Stress Concentration


Ductile Fracture


Brittle Fracture


Effects of Temperature & Strain
Rate: Ductile-to-Brittle Transition


Impact Testing


Fatigue Mechanisms


Fatigue Testing


Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)



• For a long, thin crack, its geometry results in the amplification or concentration of the applied stress at its crack tip,

• Fracture is the separation of a piece of material into two or
more pieces when subject to stress.

such that the local stress near the tip is much higher that
the average applied stress (Fig. 7.1-1).

• Fracture involves the initiation and propagation (i.e.
growth) of a crack, and may occur in several ways, such as:

slow application of external loads (e.g. tensile test)

rapid application of external loads (impact)

cyclic or repeated loading (fatigue)

time-dependent deformation (creep)


Fig. 7.1-1 Thin plate under uniaxial
tension with (a) edge crack of length a,
and (b) centre crack of length 2a.
(c) Concentration of stress at the crack tip.
(d) Photoelastic fringe pattern showing
concentration of stress at a crack tip.
[Note: the closer the lines,
the higher the stress]

Stress Concentration

• The theoretical fracture strength of a material is the stress
required to cause simultaneous breaking of all atomic
bonds across the fracture plane, resulting in the creation of
two new surfaces.


• However, actual fractures in bulk materials occur at stress
levels 10–1,000 times lower than their theoretical fracture
strengths. This is because real materials contain cracks,
which are unable to carry any tensile load; instead, the
applied load is transferred to regions around the cracks.

• Cracks may be formed in a material during manufacture, or
through wear on the surface. In metals, cracks may also be
introduced during plastic deformation.
• The mechanism by which the crack propagates (grows)
determines whether the fracture is brittle or ductile.



1-2 (a) Flat brittle fracture surface with little deformation. with a faceted texture (Fig. This process of splitting is called cleavage.1.1-2). 7-1-4). A brittle material exhibits a small strain at fracture. with little or no plastic deformation and low energy absorption (Fig. Note the lack of macroscopic plastic deformation (c) Cleavage fracture surface with a faceted (many small.1-4 (a) Intergranular fracture – decohesion (separation) along grain boundaries. (b) Stress-strain behaviour of a brittle material. 7-4 7-5 . whose cohesive strength become lower when the local chemistry is changed by the segregation of Fig. Materials that fail by brittle fracture have low toughness. • Brittle fracture can also occur along grain boundaries (intergranularly). • The separation of the material tends to occurs through the grains (transgranularly) along specific crystallographic planes (Fig.1-3 (a) Transgranular/cleavage fracture – crack propagation through the interior of grains. Fig. (a) (b) Fig. as the reflected light changes with the orientation of cleavage planes in different grains. • Cleavage fracture surfaces are relatively flat and shiny. 7.2 Brittle Fracture • Brittle fracture is sudden and catastrophic. 7. 7. 7-1-3b & c). (b) Intergranular fracture surface revealing clearly outlined grains. 7-1-3a). 7.7. harmful impurities or brittle second phases (Fig. and absorbs little energy prior to fracture (small area under the curve). shiny planes) appearance. (b) Typical grainy appearance of cleavage fracture.

numerous slip systems. σy. and absorbs a large amount of energy prior to fracture (large area under the curve). 7.1-5).1- At high magnifications. with an irregular and fibrous appearance 7a). 7-6 (b) • To the naked eye. and the ability to cross-slip. Cleavage crack propagation reaches the speed of sound. giving rise to an atomically flat surface by cleavage. When the local stress. Materials that fail by ductile fracture are considered tough. 7. 7. 7. (a) Fig. (b) Stress-strain behaviour of a ductile material.1. σlocal. near the crack tip reaches the fracture strength. 7. Fig.1-6a. “dimples” may be seen on the fracture surface (Fig. the central region of the fracture surface looks dull. 7. 7. but is also common in BCC and some HCP metals at low temperatures (Sec.1-7a). 7-7 . near the crack tip reaches the theoretical fracture strength. which is why brittle materials fail with a bang. 7. of a brittle material is higher than its fracture strength. σlocal. which absorbs considerable energy (Fig. True cleavage has not been observed in FCC metals.1-7b). 7. A ductile material exhibits a large strain (a lot of plastic deformation) at fracture. • Cleavage fracture occurs in brittle ceramics.1-6b).1-6 (a) Typical cup-and-cone ductile fracture. • A tensile specimen that has failed by ductile fracture in the necked region typically exhibits a cup-and-cone appearance (Fig.1-5 Crack propagation by cleavage occurs once the local stress. 7. the atomic bonds will break (Fig. The crack grows rapidly between a pair of atomic planes. (Fig.1-4).• The yield strength. Brittle fracture is sudden and catastrophic. due to their low shear stresses required for slip. Fig.3 Ductile Fracture • Ductile fracture is characterized by extensive plastic deformation prior to failure.

1-8a). In some dimples.1-8b). i. of a ductile material is less than its fracture strength. Crack propagation will continue if the applied stress is high enough such that the local stress is greater than the strain-hardened yield strength. σlocal. 7-8 interface. 7. most engineering alloys contain hardens the material in the plastic zone If the second phase particles (inclusions or precipitates). inclusions sometimes fall out of the dimples or they might be obscured by the surrounding matrix although they are still inside the dimples. typically through decohesion of matrix- new higher yield strength at the crack tip.• When σlocal is sufficiently high to match or exceed the yield strength of the strain-hardened material at the crack tip. since the stress concentration at the crack tip decreases. at which crack becomes blunt enough. crack propagation will continue via continual plastic deformation ahead of the crack tip.e. showing a zone of plastic deformation where the local stress is higher than the yield strength. the plastic flow also strain- cracks to close. 7. (Fig. σy. σlocal diffusion during annealing would have caused existing is reduced. Plastic flow will take place in the region of the material ahead of the crack tip where the local stress. 7. However. • The yield strength. • The plastic flow ahead of the crack tip has the effect of (a) (b) Fig. inclusions can be seen. the plastic zone increases.1-7 (a) Typical cup-and-cone ductile fracture. At the same time. turning an initially sharp crack into a blunt crack. is greater than the σy (Fig. The size of this plastic zone depends on the magnitude of σy: as σy decreases. lowering local stress. However. (b) Dimples characteristic of ductile fracture. effectively particle arresting crack growth unless a higher stress is applied. such that • Well-annealed metals do not usually contain cracks. 7. σlocal could drop below the voids nucleate. while strain hardening in the plastic zone raises yield strength.1-8 (a) Stress distribution ahead of the crack tip. (b) plastic deformation blunts crack tip. (join/combine) to become a crack. Fig. Such voids grow and coalesce 7-9 .

dimples (Fig. there is a competition between • Within the plastic zone ahead of the crack tip. the more energy is absorbed. which were separated by thin walls of material until these ruptured via shear (slip) during crack growth.1-7b) (Fig.• The continual plastic deformation during ductile fracture consumes a lot of energy. and the tougher the material. on the other hand. If the (Fig. 7. • The “dimpled” appearance of a ductile fracture surface 7. shows the remnants of the voids. 7. stress required to initiate plastic deformation by the and the crack continues to grow to fracture by this shearing of atomic planes (i. allowing preventive measures to be taken.1-9 Plastic zone ahead of crack tip where voids nucleate and grow. 7. growth and coalescence also occur the processes of plastic deformation and fracture. yield stress) is less than the mechanism (Fig. yielding occurs in preference to fracture and vice versa. • Ductile fracture is generally preferred because crack growth is relatively slow and steady. Sometimes.1-9). void nucleation. occurs suddenly and catastrophically without any warning.1-10 Stages in ductile fracture caused by void coalescence in the plastic zone. 7. fracture stress). 7-10 7-11 .e. and the presence of plastic Fig. • In a material under stress. • Ductile fracture is also more desirable because of the greater amount of energy absorbed prior to fracture. 7. Brittle vs Ductile Fracture Fig. The larger the plastic zone ahead of the crack tip.1-7b). • Brittle fracture. stress necessary to permanently separate atoms (i.e.1-10). the particles that nucleated the voids may even remain within the deformation gives warning that fracture is imminent.

BCC metals pg 6-6]).g. because thermal activation is less effective at a faster rate of deformation.1-11 Engineering stress-strain behaviour of iron at different temperatures. how fast deformation is made to occur.1-12 The effects of temperature on the fracture behaviour of various materials in impact tests. (Fig.7. • Ductile fracture is accompanied by plastic deformation. [see Table 6.1-12). A higher strain rate would raise the yield strength but lower the elongation at fracture.e. slip systems in BCC metals and some HCP • At low temperatures.1-2.1-11). plastic zone at the crack tip shrinks until it becomes so small that the fracture mechanism changes from void coalescence to cleavage. 7-12 Fig.7. • In general. such that the metals become active only when there is sufficient thermal energy for dislocation motion. • Such materials also show a dependence on the strain rate (i. 7-13 . For materials in which the critical shear stress is high (e. which depends on the loading rate).4 Effects of Temperature & Strain Rate: Ductile-to-Brittle Transition • Many materials exhibit a transition from ductile to brittle modes of fracture as the temperature is lowered. thermal energy helps in overcoming the energy barrier. 7.1. such metals exhibit a ductile-to-brittle transition (Fig. The strength and ductility of iron (BCC) show a strong temperature dependence. 7. thermal activation for dislocation motion is reduced. which involves dislocation motion. 7. The result is that the yield strength increases as temperature decreases Fig.

energy absorbed by the fracture is measured by the • While impact tests are useful for qualitative assessment of difference between h and h’. Designing for impact blow is often referred to as impact toughness. the • A ductile material will absorb greater impact energy than a energy to fracture and the appearance of the fracture brittle material. The pendulum continues its swing.1-13 Schematic diagram of the Charpy impact tests. A notched specimen is positioned at the base of the machine. 7. fracture requires the use of fracture toughness.1-13). namely. material toughness. Impact testing may also be used to compare the relative toughness of materials.5 Impact Testing • The ductile-to-brittle transition behaviour of materials may be ascertained through impact testing. • The Charpy test is one of the most widely used impact tests (Fig. striking the specimen on its downward swing. fracturing it. A heavy pendulum is released from a known height. 7. a material property derived from fracture mechanics.7. h. 7-14 7-15 . rising to a maximum height h’. which is lower than h. the results obtained.1. This ability of a material to withstand an surfaces. are not useful in design problems. The Fig. • An impact test imposes a stringent set of conditions – a pre-existing notch (crack) and high loading rates (fast strain rates) – which tend to promote brittle fracture rather than plastic flow.

including rough πδ/4. or initiated through 7-16 7-17 . • The processes leading to this type of failure are known as fatigue.2-2 Local plastic deformation under a cyclic stress can roughen a surface. 7. and sudden and catastrophic failure occurs.2-2). and surfaces left by tools or grinding.2 FATIGUE • If a component or structure is subjected to repeated stress cycles. and it is estimated that fatigue accounts for Fig. • Fatigue fracture resembles brittle fracture in that failure is sudden and catastrophic. 7.1 Fatigue Mechanisms • In fatigue.7. and often even below the yield strength of the material. stretching open the crack tip • Fatigue failures generally start at the surface (where by an amount δ. 7. be pre-existing. even in normally ductile metals. The process is repeated on the next tensile cycle. tensile stress produces a small plastic zone at the crack tip.2-3). with very little visible plastic deformation.2-1 Fatigue crack initiation at stress raisers. the crack closes may plastic and the new surface folds forward. it may fail at stresses well below the ultimate tensile strength. Fatigue cracks As the tensile stress is removed or reduced. approximately 90% of all metallic failures. extending the crack by deformation at stress raisers (Figs. in such a way that the “valleys’ concentrate stress and initiate fatigue cracks. • Under a cyclic stress (Fig. Fig. 7. 7.2. bending or torsional stresses are highest). cracks grow slowly under stresses less than the yield strength until the cracks become so large that the remaining cross-sectional area can no longer support the load.2-4). so the crack inches forward slowly and steadily. 7. creating new surface πδ/2 there (Fig.2-1 & 7.

2-6 Beachmarks or clamshell markings typical of fatigue fracture. 7-18 7-19 .2-5). Fig. the crack grows slowly and steadily until the remaining cross section can no longer support the load. 7. and (b) random variable stress cycles. 7. which are visible to the naked eye. grows the fatigue crack by πδ/4. creating new surface of length πδ/2. until the component fails catastrophically in the next stress cycle due to overload (Fig. 7. 7. resulting in rapid and catastrophic failure. (a) • Fatigue fracture surfaces typically exhibit beachmarks (socalled because they resemble ripples in the sand on a beach).Fig. Fig. or clamshell markings (b) (c) (Fig.2-5 The stages of fatigue failure: after crack initiation. Fig.2-6). (c) when folded forwards as the tensile stress is relaxed.2-3 (a) Sinusoidal. 7. which.2-4 (b) Tensile stress causes plastic deformation at the crack tip. (d) • As the crack grows. 7. the cross-sectional area that supports the load is decreased and the stress in this section increases.

• Microscopic examination of the beachmarks reveal similar markings on a finer scale. that alternates about a mean stress. σa = σ max . 7. varies sinusoidally with time.2 Fatigue Testing • The resistance of a material to failure by fatigue may be determined through a fatigue test. 7. Fig. in which a specimen is subjected to a stress cycling through simultaneous bending and rotation (Fig. called striations (Fig.2-7 Fatigue fracture striations (crack propagation is from left to right).2-9). Fig. it is of such a localized nature that very little overall plastic deformation € € is produced during the development of a crack.2-8 Fatigue testing.σ min 2 . 7. σm (Fig 7. 7.2-9 A typical stress cycle. Fig. in general. It is this lack of visible distortion that makes fatigue cracks difficult to detect in service prior to final catastrophic failure.2-8).2-7). σa or S. and is characterized by a stress amplitude. 7. The spacing between the striations is a measure of the slow crack advance per stress/strain cycle. • The stress. σm = σ max + σ min 2 • Although fatigue is associated with slip.2. 7. 7-20 7-21 .

Below this stress amplitude. • For some alloys (e. N. steels and titanium alloys). N for a material that does not display a fatigue limit. 7. fatigue life is also affected the mean stress.g. Mg) do no have a well-defined fatigue limit. S. about which the stress cycle alternates. versus the number of cycles to fatigue failure. 7. the stress amplitude.• From the fatigue test. Increasing the mean stress level has the effect of lowering the S-N curve to lower S values. 7. is plotted against the number of cycles to failure. fatigue failure would not occur regardless of the number of cycles. 7-22 7-23 . σm. 7. N for a material that displays a fatigue limit. versus the number of cycles to fatigue failure. S. For such materials. Cu. 107 cycles). Fig. Fatigue life is the number of cycles to cause failure at a specified stress level. the fatigue strength is defined as the stress level at which failure would occur for some specified number of cycles (e. Fig. • Many nonferrous alloys (e.2-11 Stress amplitude. the S-N curve becomes horizontal below a certain level of S 10). 7.2-11).2- This is called the fatigue limit (or endurance limit). Al. (Fig. measured for some constant mean stress.g. S.2-12 Effect of mean stress on S-N fatigue behaviour.2-10 Stress amplitude. • Apart from the dependence on stress amplitude. 7. σm.g. thus leading to a shorter fatigue life (Fig. Fig.2-12). The S-N curve continues to slope downward with increasing N values (Fig.

7. since a stronger material has higher resistance to slip at the crack tip during each tensile cycle.2-15]). shot peening [Fig. as well as inducing compressive surface stresses through heat treatment or mechanical operations (e. 7-25 .g. 7.g.• The endurance limit / fatigue strength may be correlated with strength (Fig. 7.2-14 Carburized steel gear teeth showing gradual increase in hardness from core to surface due to increasing carbon content in the steel. 7. carburizing in steels [Fig. Fig. tiny steel. 7-24 Fig.2-14]).2-15 In shot peening. 7. reducing stress raisers through proper design and improved surface finish. Fig. glass or ceramic balls shot at high speeds onto metal surfaces creates plastic deformation and induces compressive stresses on the surface.2-13 Relationship between endurance limit / fatigue strength and strength. • Fatigue life may be improved by selecting a stronger material. increasing surface hardness (e. 7.2-13).

Al.2-1). critical engineering components must be inspected periodically for fatigue cracks.3 Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) • Since many alloys (e.7.g.2. Cu. 7-26 7-27 . Mg) do not have endurance limits. which must not be allowed to grow to critical sizes for final fracture. • Several techniques are available to detect surface and internal flaws during manufacture and in-service (Table 7.

3 8.2.1 ELECTROCHEMICAL REACTIONS 8.CHAPTER 8 CORROSION 8.2.3 Other Concentration Cells PROTECTION AGAINST CORROSION 8-1 .2 FORMS OF CORROSION 8.2 Differential Aeration Corrosion 8.1 Galvanic Corrosion 8.2.

now negatively-charged. organic solvents. are the main causes of metal interactions may be mechanical (friction and wear).• The performance of a material must be evaluated in the Corrosion occurs in an aqueous environment. or degradation at ambient temperatures. which forms an invisible thin film of moisture on the surface of metal. corrosion electrochemical (oxidation and corrosion). oxygen and radiation.1-2a). deterioration in mechanical and/or physical 60-70%. (a) Fresh water (b) Salt water • The metal. such that the metal NITRIC ACID (c) Acids and alkalis ions that have just dissolved in the electrolyte tend to PETROL revert back to solid metal atoms again. Fig. 8. leading to huge economic losses (5% or more of the GDP of industrialized countries). and context of its interaction with its service environment. as well as posing threats to human safety. most metals have varying degrees of tendency to dissolve into the electrolyte as positively-charged metal ions. leaving behind the negatively-charged electrons in the metal (Fig. but the metal (f) UV radiation has developed an electrochemical potential. will occur in air with relative humidity (RH) greater than • These interactions usually result in the degradation of the material (i. (d) Organic solvents • In the absence of external influences. 8-2 8-3 . (e) Oxidation Overall.e. will attract positive ions in the electrolyte in its vicinity. an equilibrium is reached in which metal atoms and ions are continually entering and leaving the electrolyte at the metal surface. or appearance). acids and alkalis. 8. Such together with wear.1-1 Materials undergo electrochemical interactions with water. Generally. 8. properties. there is no net change in the system. A.1 ELECTROCHEMICAL REACTIONS • When immersed in an electrolyte.

the electrolyte. C. C. (c) A wire conncection allows electrons to flow from the more negative to the less negative metal. where electrons are produced through the following reaction: n+ • If the two metals were connected by a wire (Fig. • The electrons from A are consumed through various reactions at C. metal C has gained electrons to difference by distributing themselves around the system. A. allowing further dissolution of metal A. (b) Metal C has less tendency to dissolve in the electrolyte. 8. A corrodes. Some of the metal ions drift away. depending on its tendency for metal dissolution. to the metal with fewer metal and may even convert back into solid metal atoms. metal A becomes less negative and metal C becomes more negative. adjacent to the electrons left behind.1-2 (a) Metal A at equilibrium with positive metal ions in solution. become more negatively-charged and its positive ions in Electrons flow from the metal with more excess electrons the electrolyte are thus more strongly attracted to the (more negative potential).e. The stronger is less attraction between the metal and the positive ions in the tendency. 8. the more negative the potential. is added to the same electrolyte (Fig. upsetting the equilibrium around the metal surface and • When a different metal. 8. As electrons flow. called the cathode. Fig. it also develops its own potential. depending on the electrolyte.1-2c). 8-4 8-5 . i. the M → M + ne– (anodic/oxidation reaction) excess electrons would try to minimize the potential • On the other hand.1-1 Some common cathode reactions for aqueous galvanic cells. leaving less negative charge in the metal.• The magnitude of this potential depends on the tendency • Since metal A now becomes less negatively-charged. • Metal A is known as the anode. electrons (less negative potential). Some cathodic/reduction reactions are: Table 8. there of the metal to dissolve into the electrolyte.1-2b).

g.g. such as difference must exist between different regions. in most practical situations. If any of these elements were missing.e. 8-6 8-7 . e.1-2 Standard electrochemical potentials. corrode). A metal that is lower on the electrochemical series has a greater tendency to lose electrons and become metal ions in Table 8.1-3 The galvanic series in aerated seawater at 25°C. which temperature.1-3). seawater (Table 8.1-2). concentration of metal must also be electrically connected. oxygen) in the electrolyte. a potential • The potential of a metal depends on many factors. type of electrolyte. qualitative ranking of the relative have been measured relative to a hydrogen electrode and reactivities of a number of metals and commercial alloys in are listed in the electrochemical series a particular environment. which is a simple. etc. (Table 8. • It is thus more useful to refer to the experimental galvanic • The potentials of various metals under standard conditions series. reaction would stop. the corrosion potential of a metal differs from its value in this series.• In order for corrosion to occur in a system. such that electrons ions and other species (e. the ions. Table 8. produced at the anode can be consumed at the cathode. The electrochemical series was generated under highly An electrolyte must also be present for the conduction of idealized conditions. solution (i.

8. With time. Differences in composition and structure due to segregation of impurities to.2-3 Intergranular corrosion due to compositional differences between grain boundaries and grain interior. the entire exposed surface.1) similarly undergo microscopic galvanic corrosion would (Fig 8.2-2 Microscopic galvanic corrosion in steel (a two-phase alloy). • Alloys containing more than one phase (Sec. the ratio of anodic to cathodic surface area will affect the rate of corrosion. the compositions are electrically connected in an electrolyte. 8. 9.2.2-2). 8. or the formation of precipitates at grain boundaries could make these regions anodic to the bulk of the grains. Fig. the greater the potential difference. while the less negative metal acts as the cathode. since each phase has a different composition. alloys are generally more resistant to corrosion than multiphase ones. the more severe corrosion would be.8. Generally. large anode–small cathode is favourable).e. (b) Corrosion is less severe when the ratio of the anode to cathode surface area is large (i. Small anodes in contact with large cathodes will corrode more severely than large anodes in contact with small cathodes (Fig. locations of the anodic and cathodic regions change randomly so that the result is a uniform loss of metal over • The alloy with the more negative potential becomes the anode and corrodes. 8-8 (Fig 8. giving rise to • Galvanic corrosion occurs when two metals of different microscopic local anodes and cathodes. 8. leading to intergranular corrosion Fig.2 FORMS OF CORROSION • Uniform corrosion is a special case of galvanic corrosion occurring at the microscopic level within the same metal.2-1 Effects of anode-to-cathode area: (a) A large cathode (Cu) area consumes a large number of electrons during the cathodic reaction. Single-phase • Since the same total number of electrons must flow through the anodic and cathodic regions during corrosion. which would have to be provided by the severe corrosion of the small anode (Fe). 8. • Galvanic couples may develop at grain boundaries.2-3). Fig.1 Even a nominally homogeneous metal surface contains tiny Galvanic Corrosion variations in composition and structure. 8-9 .2-1).

and (b) pitting corrosion. corrosion occurs preferentially in the crevices and pits.8. thus.2. As a result. 8. 8-10 8-11 . the metal just inside the waterline will become cathodic while the Fig.2-5). • Differential aeration is also the mechanism behind waterline corrosion. In these forms of localized (“localized” as opposed to “general” or “uniform” corrosion. 8. due to differential aeration. 8. cathode reactions 3 and 4].2-7 “Waterline” corrosion beneath a drop of water.1-1.2 Differential Aeration Corrosion • In many instances. remaining immersed metal will become anodic (Figs.2-6 & 7). (a) (b) Fig. Since there is restricted exchange of electrolyte from within the confined spaces of these locations. these regions become lower in oxygen concentration than the rest of the material that is exposed to a large volume of electrolyte.2-6 Waterline corrosion due to falling levels of dissolved oxygen below the liquid surface. Fig. the area of low oxygen concentration will become the anode. 8. while the region of high oxygen concentration will act as the cathode. oxygen is required at the cathode in order for corrosion to occur [See Table 8. 8. which occurs everywhere on the metal surface).2-5 (a) Crevice corrosion. Oxygen is able to reach metal near the waterline than regions further away. • Differential aeration is responsible for crevice corrosion and pitting corrosion corrosion (Fig. If there is a difference in oxygen concentration between two regions. the oxygen in small crevices and pits are consumed during uniform corrosion.

since the potential difference between the boundaries and interior is only minimal. see also Sec.• An environment in which oxygen is severely limited will tend to reduce corrosion significantly (Fig.7 on Metallography).2-10. 8. are anodic to the bulk of the grains and tend to corrode more • Corrosion of all forms also increases in severity with severely (Fig. 8. 8. the rate of corrosion at or precipitates is not significantly higher than the grain interior.2-8).2-9). Fig.2-1). • Similarly. 8. Fig. because all electrochemical reactions are intergranular corrosion thermally activated. 8-12 8-13 . these highly-stressed. However. since oxygen is required for cathodic reactions in all solutions [Table 8. grain boundaries that do not contain segregated impurities (Sec.2-9 The regions of a nail that were stressed during fabrication or use are anodic and will corrode locally. 4. with their higher energy. grain boundaries. unlike temperature. cold-worked regions in a metal will act as anodes to less-stressed cathodic areas (Fig. 8. due to the permeability of sand to oxygen.2-10 The higher energy of grain boundaries makes them anodic and more susceptible to corrosion. 8. Since dislocations are associated with higher energy. 8.3 Other Concentration Cells • A metal that has been cold worked contains a high density of dislocations.2-8 Corrosion is more severe in (a) sandy soil than in (b) clay.1-1. 8. Fig. cathode reactions 3 and 4].2.

concentration or galvanic differences. e.g. • Corrosion can be retarded or prevented if either the anodic or cathodic reaction can be stifled. such that should the Zn coating become disrupted. the metal will continue to be protected since the coating will corrode instead (Fig. which would result in a small anode-to-cathode area ratio if the coating is scratched.3 PROTECTION AGAINST CORROSION • Protective coatings prevent contact between the metal and electrolyte (e. thereby reducing rate of corrosion at the anode. the large anode (Zn) to small cathode (steel) area would ensure continued protection. 8.8. Fig. One way is to use a sacrificial anode by electrically connecting a more anodic metal to the metal to be protected. 8.3-2 Zinc is anodic to steel. Furthermore. paints. • Cathodic protection works by “forcing” the corroding metal to become the cathode instead. 8-14 8-15 . aluminium alloys (Al2O3) or stainless steels (Cr2O3).g. Materials that produce protective oxide layers. 8. be replaced periodically.3-1 Reducing crevice corrosion through improved design.3-2). this is undesirable since it would cause severe corrosion of the steel. Fig.3-1) if the coating is anodic to the underlying metal (e. However. • Inhibitors may be used in closed systems. The more anodic metal corrodes in preference to the original metal The sacrificial anode would need to (Fig. chrome-plating). steel is anodic to tin. steel or galvanized steel). 8. Zn on and material selection to minimize scratched. 8. Other inhibitors may retard the cathodic reaction. These are chemicals added to the electrolyte that usually form protective layers either on the surfaces of the anode or cathode.3-3 & 4a).g. may be used instead. should the coating become • Many corrosion problems can be eliminated through proper design (Fig.

Fig.Fig. 8-16 .3-4b). 8. 8. Another advantage is that the supply may be controlled to regulate the current provided. and (b) impressed current.3-4 Cathodic protection of underground pipelines using (a) sacrificial zinc anode. • Another cathodic protection method similar to the sacrificial anode method is the use of an impressed current. possible The major advantage of this method is that it is to use non-consumable anodes. Since an anode corrodes when electrons flow away.3-3 Cathodic protection through sacrificial zinc anodes on the steel hulls of ships. the anode can be made cathodic by supplying a larger counter-current to neutralize the corrosion current (Fig 8.