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Corrosion of materials used in the solar energy industry

Frederico Guilherme Dantas dos Santos (TUMA Industrial, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Carlos Roberto Araújo (Mechanical Department, Catolica University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Vanessa de Freitas Cunha Lins (Corrosion and Surface Engineering Laboratory, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 23 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the corrosion of the coupling of two different types of stainless steel, austenitic and ferritic, used in the fabrication of water reservoirs in the solar energy industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Potentiodynamic polarization and gravimetric immersion tests were used to evaluate corrosion of the coupling of two different types of stainless steel, austenitic and ferritic.

Findings

The galvanic corrosion was not significant in the case of the coupling of AISI 304 and 444 steels. The difference of the open circuit potentials obtained for the AISI 304 and AISI 444 steels was 28 mV for the polished samples. The galvanic current density (ig) was 55 nA/cm2. The corrosion observed in the stainless steel couple was in the weld area.

Research limitations/implications

The methodology used is adequate to evaluate generalized galvanic corrosion. The problem of the corrosion in the coupling of the stainless steels is a problem of localized corrosion and the observed 28 mV potential difference was lower than the dispersion of results usually obtained from readings of corrosion potentials in electrochemical cells.

Practical implications

The use of two different types of steel in contact with each other may lead to galvanic corrosion, and the welding of steel pieces may lead to several corrosion problems. Since the boiler may be used in different countries, subject to a great diversity of water quality, corrosion may be a significant problem.

Originality/value

Literature data of the AISI 444 steel corrosion behaviour are still scarce. The coupling of two different stainless steels (AISI 304 and 444) in the water reservoir manufacturing was a necessary requirement of the solar energy industry. The manufacturers of boilers must evaluate and quantify the corrosion processes, which occur in the equipment used in the solar energy industry. As the solar energy industry has matured in the last ten years, the corrosion of this equipment may be a significant problem in due course.

Keywords

Citation

Guilherme Dantas dos Santos, F., Roberto Araújo, C. and de Freitas Cunha Lins, V. (2008), "Corrosion of materials used in the solar energy industry", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 55 No. 3, pp. 150-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/00035590810870464

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited