Characterisation off 3D Pitting Corrosion Kinetics of Stainless Steel In Chloride Containing Environments

  • Fahd Almuaili

Student thesis: Phd


The research reported in this PhD thesis provides a novel approach to estimate 3D pitting corrosion kinetics of austenitic stainless steel with exposure to chloride-containing aqueous environments. A quasi-in-situ X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT) approach was developed, with the aim of providing an experimental methodology to estimate 3D pitting corrosion kinetics under different exposure conditions.The first part summarises a set of preliminary investigations to identify the pitting corrosion behaviour of three austenitic stainless steels (type 303 bar, type 304 plate and type 304L wire) with different inclusion contents. All observed pit densities were related to the inclusion contents, providing confidence in moving to the next stage of the project, for conducting in-situ corrosion studies using X-ray CT. The second section describes the construction of an in-situ electrochemical cell for X-ray CT studies, the aim being to provide an experimental methodology to estimate 3D pitting corrosion kinetics. Pit growth kinetics of individual pits were estimated from segmented 3D X-ray CT data. The evolution of pit current densities, associated pit stability products, and diffusivity parameters over time were obtained. The study also showed that the kinetics of multiple pits could be estimated using this novel approach, based on separating the current response of each pit over time. This was obtained by electrochemical polarisation control and measuring the total current evolution.The third section discusses the effect of plastic strain on 3D pitting corrosion kinetics. Several in-situ X-ray CT experiments were conducted, with a focus on obtaining 3D pit growth, passivation, and re-activation kinetics, to elucidate the effect of applied strain on pit stability and growth. This section explains a possible mechanism for the re-activation of pre-existing corrosion pits, showing that pits grew more rapidly during reactivation than those grown before plastic strain was applied. A marked difference in pit morphology with fractured lacy metal covers was observed with the application of strain. The implications of this observation are discussed in light of stress corrosion crack nucleation mechanisms.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDirk Engelberg (Supervisor) & Philip Withers (Supervisor)


  • Pitting Corrosion, reactivation, Plastic strain, Electrochemical Polarisation, Stainless steel, X-ray computed tomography

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