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Interpreting Electrochemical Noise and Monitoring Local Corrosion by Means of Highly Resolved Spatiotemporal Real-Time Optics

Real-time optical analysis is used to improve the interpretation of electrochemical noise signals (EN). The concept is presented for the case of AA2024-T3 under immersion in various NaCl concentrations. An in-house developed optical-electrochemical technique allowed for high spatiotemporal resolution and was used to visualize and quantify surface changes in parallel with monitoring EN signals. EN analysis was performed in the time-frequency domain using continuous wavelet transform (CWT). Correlations between the two procedures enabled the identification of corrosion processes in time, such as de-alloying, etching, pitting and subsurface corrosion. Besides this, optical measurements at higher magnification were used to analyse a smaller section of the exposed metal with a spatial resolution below 1 μm. This enabled the quantification on the size, number and nearest neighbor distance of local corrosion events, such as pits and corrosion rings. The set-up and optical protocol allowed for the first time (i) to establish a direct relationship between EN signals and the occurrence of specific localized corrosion phenomena and (ii) an in-situ highly-resolved monitoring of local corrosion processes. As a final result of the optical analysis we introduce a straightforward illustration that allows the direct identification of EN features to macroscopic local corrosion phenomena.

Type: Journal Paper
Publication: Journal of The Electrochemical Society
Volume 166, Issue 11, Pages C3275-C3283.
Date: 24 May 2019