Flow microcapillary plasma mass spectrometry-based investigation of new Al–Cr–Fe complex metallic alloy passivation
Al-Cr-Fe complex metallic alloys are new intermetallic phases with low surface energy, low friction, and high corrosion resistance down to very low pH values (0-2). Flow microcapillary plasma mass spectrometry under potentiostatic control was used to characterize the dynamic aspect of passivation of an Al-Cr-Fe gamma phase in acidic electrolytes, allowing a better insight on the parameters inducing chemical stability at the oxyhydroxide-solution interface. In sulfuric acid pH 0, low element dissolution rates (in the mu g cm(-2) range after 60 min) evidenced the passive state of the Al-Cr-Fe gamma phase with a preferential over-stoichiometric dissolution of Al and Fe cations. Longer air-aging was found to be beneficial for stabilizing the passive film. In chloride-containing electrolytes, ten times higher Al dissolution rates were detected at open-circuit potential (OCP), indicating that the spontaneously formed passive film becomes unstable. However, electrochemical polarization at low passive potentials induces electrical field generated oxide film modification, increasing chemical stability at the oxyhydroxide-solution interface. In the high potential passive region, localized attack is initiated with subsequent active metal dissolution. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.