MSE 112 – Corrosion

Course Number: MSE 112
Course Units: 3
 
INSTRUCTOR: Professor Thomas M. Devine

CATALOG DESCRIPTION:

Electrochemical theory of corrosion. Mechanisms of: active corrosion, galvanic corrosion, passivity, localized corrosion (including pitting corrosion, crevice corrosion, intergranular corrosion), electrochemical reduction reactions, and environmentally assisted cracking (including stress corrosion cracking, corrosion fatigue, hydrogen-assisted cracking, and fretting corrosion). Methods of corrosion mitigation (including cathodic protection, coatings, inhibitors, passivators). Influence of material’s chemical composition and microstructure on corrosion behavior. Testing of material’s susceptibilities to different modes of corrosion. Monitoring of corrosion of engineered structures. Case studies of corrosion failures.

COURSE PREREQUISITES:

Engineering 45 and Engineering 115 

PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE AND/OR SKILLS TEXTBOOK(S) AND/OR OTHER REQUIRED MATERIAL:

Reader is available on course website 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  • Provide fundamental understanding of aspects of electrochemistry and materials science relevant to corrosion phenomena.
  • Provide methodologies for predicting, measuring, and analyzing corrosion performance of materials.
  • Identify practices for the prevention and remediation of corrosion. 


DESIRED COURSE OUTCOMES:

The successful student will:

  • Understand the origin of the difference in electrical potential across an interface, in particular, a metal/electrolyte interface.
  • Understand the relationship between rates of electrochemical reactions and the potential drop across interfaces.
  • Understand the causes of and the mechanisms of various types of corrosion, including uniform corrosion, galvanic corrosion, crevice corrosion, pitting corrosion, intergranular corrosion, and various modes of environmentally assisted cracking.
  • Be knowledgeable of the influence of a material’s composition and microstructure on its corrosion performance.
  • Be knowledgeable of the effect of an electrolyte’s composition on the corrosion of metals.
  • Be able to identify materials that will exhibit adequate corrosion resistance in a particular environment.
  • Be able to propose economically viable remedial actions that will eliminate or reduce corrosion to a tolerable level. 


TOPICS COVERED:

Free energy and the criterion for a reaction to occur at constant T,P. Definition of electrical potential. Hydration of Ions. Structure of water and aqueous solutions. Structure of Interface between Metal/Aq.Soln. Existence of Interface Potential Difference. Rate of Chemical Reaction (Collision Theory and Transition State Theory). Rate of Electrochemical Reaction. Use of Red-Ox curves to “predict” corrosion. Mechanism of oxidation of metals in aqueous solutions. Equilibrium Reduction Potential. Reduction reactions during corrosion of metals. Thermodynamic Driving Force for Corrosion. Behavior of Noble Metals. Stability of Anions in Aqueous Solutions. Exchange Current Density. Galvanic coupling. Measurement of kinetics of Red-Ox reactions as a function of potential. Reference electrodes. Mechanism of active corrosion of iron. Effect of specific anions on the corrosion of iron. Formation of solid corrosion products. Construction and use of Pourbaix Diagrams. Corrosion Inhibitors. Corrosion protection by coatings. Passivity. Pitting Corrosion (cardiac pacemaker wires). Crevice corrosion (bone plate for fixation of fracture; hip prosthesis). Influence of microstructure on corrosion (sensitization of stainless steel). Stress corrosion cracking (nuclear power plants; fire sprinkler). Corrosion fatigue (rod for supporting backbone). Hydrogen assisted cracking (steel supports in sea water). Fretting corrosion (smoke detector). Atmospheric corrosion (cable-tv boxes). Corrosion in concrete (Evans Hall). Corrosion of nanostructures (magnetic storage media). Corrosion in non-aqueous electrolytes (Li-ion batteries). 

COURSE FORMAT:

Three hours of lecture plus one hour of discussion per week. 

CONTRIBUTION OF THE COURSE TO MEETING THE PROFESSIONAL COMPONENT:

Course demonstrates the relationship between (1) the structure and compositions of materials, (2) the chemical composition and properties of electrolytes, and (3) the susceptibility/resistance of materials to various modes of corrosion. 

RELATIONSHIP OF THE COURSE TO UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Students of materials science and engineering (MSE) are knowledgeable of the relationships between the processing of materials and the material’s structure, and the material’s properties. This course emphasizes the relationships between material’s composition, processing and corrosion resistance. All MSE students need to be aware of the potential susceptibility of materials to corrosion and of economically viable methods for limiting corrosion. 

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT PROGRESS TOWARD COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  • Two mid-term exams
  • Eight homework assignments
  • Final exam 


PERSON(S) WHO PREPARED THIS DESCRIPTION:

Professor Thomas M. Devine