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Effect of Cu addition to low-alloy structural steel on the resistance against corrosion by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm

Zhong Li (Department of Corrosion and Multiphase Technology, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Qing Lei (University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China)
Luyao Huang (University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China)
Chao Liu (University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China)

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 13 September 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Low-alloy structural steels (LASS) face severe microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) in their service environments. To mitigate this issue, Cu is often used as an alloying element owing to its intrinsic antimicrobial activity. However, the antibacterial performance and biofilm resistance of Cu-containing LASS (Cu-LASS) are still unclear. This study aims to analyze the effect of Cu addition to 420 MP LASS on its MIC by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm.

Design/methodology/approach

Scanning electron microscope, confocal laser scanning microscope and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to analyze the surface morphology and composition of corrosion products. The antibacterial activities of Cu-LASS were analyzed by the spread-plate method. In addition, electrochemical analysis was conducted to characterize the corrosion behavior of the produced alloy.

Findings

Bacterial analysis and morphological observation confirmed a reduced sessile cell count and inactivation of the P. aeruginosa biofilm on the surface of Cu-LASS coupons. Electrochemical measurements showed that Cu-LASS exhibited large polarization and charge-transfer resistances, which indicated excellent MIC resistance. This significantly enhanced resistance to MIC could be explained by the synergistic effect of released Cu2+ from the Cu-LASS surface and immediate contact to Cu-rich phase in the surface and the release of Cu2+ ions from the Cu-LASS surface.

Originality/value

The effect of Cu addition on the MIC resistance and antibacterial performance of LASS is seldom reported. It is necessary to investigate the corrosion resistance of Cu-LASS and clarify its antibacterial mechanism. This paper fulfills this need.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2019M650485).

Citation

Li, Z., Lei, Q., Huang, L. and Liu, C. (2021), "Effect of Cu addition to low-alloy structural steel on the resistance against corrosion by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ACMM-04-2021-2472

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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