Hot Corrosion Behavior of Inconel 625 Superalloy in Eutectic Molten Nitrate Salts
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Corrosion resistance of Inconel 625 Ni-based superalloy was studied in a molten nitrate salt consisting of 40 KNO3–60 NaNO3 (wt%) at 500 and 600 °C. Open-circuit potential, potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and gravimetric tests were used to evaluate the degradation mechanism and corrosion behavior of the alloy. Surface morphology and chemical analysis of corrosion products were characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry. The weight-loss curves showed that with the increase in temperature, the oxidation rate and mass gain increased; the relationship between the mass gain and time was close to the parabolic oxidation law. The electrochemical corrosion results confirmed that during the exposure of Inconel 625 alloy to the molten salts, nickel dissolves as a result of non-protective NiO layer formed. The formation of a non-protective oxide layer with low barrier property was responsible for observing the weak corrosion resistance of the alloy at high temperatures (500 and 600 °C). Cyclic polarization tests showed a positive hysteresis confirming the nucleation and growth of stable pits on the surface of Inconel 625 at high anodic overpotentials. Sodium nitrite acts as an efficient pitting inhibitor for this case. In this way, the sodium nitrite with the concentration of 0.1 molal was found to have an optimum inhibition effect on pit nucleation at 600 °C.
KeywordsInconel 625 alloy Nitrate salts Hot corrosion Pitting corrosion Inhibitor
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