Relative humidity fluctuations tend to influence atmospheric corrosion under natural exposure conditions. In this study, the effect of change in relative humidity on pitting corrosion of stainless steel under MgCl2 droplets is investigated with in situ X-ray microtomography and optical microscopy. Relative humidity fluctuations (between 33% RH and 85% RH or between 33% RH and 12% RH) tend to lead to nucleation of many small pits whereas continuous exposure at constant 33% RH leads to growth of a single pit. This indicates that natural fluctuations in relative humidity might be beneficial for preventing the growth of a large penetrating pit.
- atmospheric pitting corrosion
- stainless steel
- wet-dry cycling
- X-ray microtomography