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Investigation of crevice corrosion of metallic fastened joints in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) exposed to coastal seawater

Mohammed I. Abdulsalam (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Francisco Presuel-Moreno (Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 21 June 2021

Issue publication date: 2 July 2021




The purpose of this paper is to study the susceptibility of these three commonly used corrosion resistance fasteners in seawater. For a more practical scenario, a local Atlantic coastal seawater as received was used.


Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) was fabricated with T700 carbon fiber (Toray Inc.) and VE8084 vinyl ester resin (Ashland) to make a unidirectional composite panel of thickness 1.8 mm. A conductive paint was applied to one of the sample edges that was perpendicular to the fiber direction, providing an electrical contact with carbon fibers to connect a copper wire. This external electric connection was used for potential measurements of both the open circuit potential (OCP) of the CFRP sample, and the mixed potential of the fastened set: consisting of the CFRP and the metallic fastener fastened to it. Three common fastener alloys were selected: 316SS, Monel and Titanium. For this purpose, a high impedance voltmeter was used in conjunction with a saturated calomel reference electrode. Measurements were taken daily. For longer time measurements, a four-channel high impedance analog data logger was used with 30 min sampling rate.


For both 316SS and Monel fastened sets, crevice corrosion occurred inside the occluded regions of the set, when immersed in coastal seawater. The attack was more severe for 316 stainless steel set. An isolated island attack of faceted surfaces morphology was seen for 316SS set. While, a circular ring of preferential grain boundary attack appeared for Monel set, indicating an IR (voltage) drop mechanism is more likely operating. Titanium-fastened sets showed high resistance to crevice corrosion when simmered in seawater. However, for long-time exposure, the sets became more susceptible to crevice corrosion attack supported by CFRP attachment (oxygen reduction reaction taking place at the carbon fibers).


Evidently, titanium, stainless steels and Monel are good candidates for galvanic corrosion resistance. However, their susceptibility to crevice corrosion when coupled with CFRP is a new challenging topic that needs further investigation. This is very important today because the vast application witnessed for CFRP material. This work involves developing an original methodology for this kind of investigation and was done at advanced laboratories of SeaTech at Florida Atlantic University by the Atlantic coastline.



The authors acknowledge the support of the Faculty of Engineering at King Abdulaziz University through the scientific communication program.


Abdulsalam, M.I. and Presuel-Moreno, F. (2021), "Investigation of crevice corrosion of metallic fastened joints in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) exposed to coastal seawater", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 68 No. 3, pp. 238-247.



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