NSC Seminar Nonequilibrium Collective Phenomena in the Corrosion of Stainless Steel

2008-12-10 15:00 - 2008-12-10 16:00
RIES, Seminar Room 1-1
Prof. John L. Hudson (University of Virginia)
Collective phenomena can be important in both pitting corrosion and intergranular corrosion of metals; a discussion of these effects in stainless steel will be presented and compared briefly to behavior of other engineering materials such as aluminum. Nonequilibrium collective phenomena and effects of nonlinear pattern formation play the crucial role in the onset of pitting corrosion on stainless steels. Such materials are naturally protected by the oxide layer covering their surface. The onset of pitting corrosion involves the development of microscopic metastable pits, each persisting for about a second. A sudden transition to active corrosion results from chain reproduction of metastable pits on the stainless steel surface leading to an autocatalytic explosion.