The effect of passive layer stability on electrochemical noise signals arising from pitting corrosion of stainless steels



Electrochemical noise (EN) enables corrosion research and monitoring in real time and with high sensitivity. In the case of submicroscopic nucleation events of pitting corrosion it has been observed that the cathodic process plays a decisive role in the mechanism as well as in the origin of EN signals, which depend not only on the metallic dissolution reaction but also on the electron-consuming process. EN signals arising from the nucleation process of localized corrosion on stainless steels can only be recorded due to the inhibition effect on the cathodic process achieved by the spontaneous formation of the passive layer. In consequence, passive layer stability becomes a significant factor in influencing EN signals. The way in which the passive layer stability affects the acquisition and analysis of EN signals arising from pitting corrosion on stainless steels is discussed in detail.