UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Sacrificial Dissolution of Zinc Electroplated and Cold Galvanized Coated Steel in Saline and Soil Environments: A Comparison Farooq, Ameeq; Masood Chaudry, Umer; Saleem, Ahsan; Mairaj Deen, Kashif; Hamad, Kotiba; Ahmad, Rafiq

Abstract

To protect steel structures, zinc coatings are mostly used as a sacrificial barrier. This research aims to estimate the dissolution tendency of the electroplated and zinc-rich cold galvanized (ZRCG) coatings of a controlled thickness (35 ± 1 μm) applied via brush and dip coating methods on the mild steel. To assess the corrosion behavior of these coated samples in 3.5% NaCl and 10% NaCl containing soil solutions, open circuit potential (OCP), cyclic polarization (CP), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were performed. The more negative OCP and appreciably large corrosion rate of the electroplated and ZRCG coated samples in 3.5% NaCl solution highlighted the preferential dissolution of Zn coatings. However, in saline soil solution, the relatively positive OCP (>−850 mV vs. Cu/CuSO₄) and lower corrosion rate of the electroplated and ZRCG coatings compared to the uncoated steel sample indicated their incapacity to protect the steel substrate. The CP scans of the zinc electroplated samples showed a positive hysteresis loop after 24 h of exposure in 3.5% NaCl and saline soil solutions attributing to the localized dissolution of the coating. Similarly, the appreciable decrease in the charge transfer resistance of the electroplated samples after 24 h of exposure corresponded to their accelerated dissolution. Compared to the localized dissolution of the electroplated and brush-coated samples, the dip-coated ZRCG samples exhibited uniform dissolution during the extended exposure (500 h) salt spray test.

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