Structural Characterization and Corrosion Behavior of Stainless Steel Coated With Sol-Gel Titania
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Sol-gel titania films were prepared from hydrolysis and condensation of titanium (IV) isopropoxide. Diethanolamine was used as chelant agent in titania synthesis. 316L stainless steel substrates were dip-coated at three different withdrawal speeds (6, 30, and 60 mm/min) and heated up to 400 °C. Thermogravimetry and differential thermal analyses of the titania gel solution evinced a continuous mass loss for temperatures up to 800 °C. The transition of anatase to the rutile phase begins at 610-650 °C, being the rutile transformation completed at 900 °C. The thicknesses of the films were determined as a function of the heat treatment and withdrawal speed. It was observed that their thicknesses varied from 130 to 770 nm. Scanning electron microscopy images of the composites revealed the glass-like microstructure of the films. The obtained sol-gel films were also characterized by energy dispersive spectroscopy. The chemical evolution of the films as a function of the heating temperature was evaluated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (specular reflectance method). After performing the adhesion tests, the adherence of the titania films to the stainless steel substrate was excellent, rated 5B according to ASTM 3359. The hardness of the ceramic films obtained was measured by the Knoop microindentation hardness test with a 10 g load. We observed that the titania film became harder than the steel substrate when it was heated above 400 °C. The corrosion rates of the titania/steel composites, determined from potentiodynamic curves, were two orders of magnitude lower than that of the bare stainless steel. The presence of the sol-gel titania film contributed to the increase of the corrosion potential in ca. 650 mV and the passivation potential in ca. 720 mV.