Improving corrosion resistance of Al-11mass%Si alloy through a large number of ECAP passes



Ultrafine-grained (UFG) Al-11mass%Si alloy, processed by multi-pass equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) at 573 K, was investigated on corrosion behavior in 0.6 M NaCl solution. Potentiodynamic polarization tests and scanning electron microscopy observation showed that a large number of ECAP passes resulted in lower corrosion current density, more positive corrosion potential, and rather smooth corroded surface with shallow corrosion pits. The uniform distribution of fine secondary-phase particles on UFG Al matrix weakened the susceptibility to pitting corrosion while inhibited general microgalvanic reactions. The present results indicate that grain refinement of aluminum matrix to the UFG state and uniform redistribution of broken particles (including eutectic silicon and secondary phases), via severe plastic deformation at elevated temperature undergoing dynamic recrystallization, can significantly improve the corrosion resistance of Al alloys, besides the known exceptional mechanical advantages. The simple and effective ECAP procedure makes UFG Al alloys more attractive for high strength structural application in corrosive environment.