Abstract

This study attempts to provide a theoretical estimate coupled with an analysis of the measured data to predict pitting damage of an aluminum alloy 2219 under the conjoint influence of mechanical load and corrosive environment. In accordance with the basic principle of crater growth coupled with the synergistic influences of mechanical and chemical effects, the law governing the presence and growth of corrosion pits was studied. Based on the concept of microscopic damage mechanics, porosity as a damage variable was introduced and the resulting model for estimating the reduction in elastic modulus of the material that has experienced observable damage due to pitting was established. Accelerated corrosion tests and uniaxial tensile tests are carried out, and a research-grade microscope coupled with a laser range finder was used to study the formation, presence and growth of the pits with time. It was found that the corrosion pit in the chosen aluminum alloy can be simulated as a semi-ellipsoid, and the relationship between depth of the pit and applied stress is an exponential function. This enabled in establishing the influence of alloy chemistry on nature, extent and severity of damage due to pitting. The macroscopic morphology of the damaged specimens after corrosion was carefully observed and analyzed. The influence of time of exposure to the environment and applied load on damage due to pitting was verified. A comparison between the calculated results and experimental data reveals an overall correctness of the method developed and discussed in this paper.

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