Cerium hybrid silica coatings on stainless steel AISI 304 substrate
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AISI 304 Stainless Steel is widely used in different industrial fields because of its mechanical and corrosion properties. However, its tendency to corrosion in presence of halide ions limits the applications. One strategy to improve the corrosion resistance is the use of coatings barriers containing corrosion inhibitors in their formulation. The lanthanides present attractive green and corrosion properties for the substitution of chromates, which are the most common substances used as corrosion protection. However, these compounds are highly toxic, and an intense effort is being undertaken to replace them. Cerium is a good alternative because of its relatively low cost and abundance. It fulfils the basics requirements for being considered an alternative inhibitor: the ions form insoluble hydroxides and they present low toxicity. Inorganic and hybrid sol-gel coatings have been developed to increase the corrosion resistance of metals and they provide an excellent vehicle for the incorporation of secondary phases including particles and metal ions as cerium ions.
The aim of this work was to study the influence of the incorporation of cerium ions in hybrid silica sol-gel coatings deposited on AISI 304 stainless steel as substrate as a potential replacement of chromate treatments. This system should combine the barrier protection effect of silica coating with the corrosion inhibitor effect of the cerium ions inside the coatings. After 7 days of immersion in NaCl, coated substrates showed lower current densities than the bare steel, although the coatings produced from Ce (III) salts experience a slight weakening in time and those obtained from Ce (IV) chemicals evidence an enhance in the coating performance, probably due to the plugging of corrosion products in the defective areas of the film.
KeywordsCerium Sol-gel coatings Corrosion Silica Stainless steel
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