The erosion-corrosion behaviour of copper-nickel alloys
The research focuses on an investigation of the erosion-corrosion behaviour of Cu-Ni-base alloys in aqueous environments. The principal objectives of the research were to examine the fundamental mechanisms of the erosion-corrosion attack. The work was focused on a standard Cu-10%Ni alloy that is used extensively in a variety of marine industries and on Marinel alloy, which is a high strength precipitation-hardened copper-nickel alloy. Erosion-corrosion tests were carried out for exposure times up to 72 hours, in a solid free 3.5% NaCl solution impinging at velocities of 2.38-86 m/sec, (Re=4500-86000), at temperatures of 19°C and 35°C. The overall erosion-corrosion behaviour and the direct corrosion component were monitored using gravimetric and electrochemical-monitoring techniques. Contributes from mechanical erosions were assessed by cathodically protecting specimens under impingement conditions. The research also considered the influence of various parameters such as temperature, time, velocity, salinity variations, and impingement angle. The extent and morphology of material deterioration and protective film formation under various environmental conditions were assessed, utilizing surface profiling equipment and light optical and scanning electron microscopy. The work has quantified the complex contributions of corrosion, erosion and synergy to the overall erosion-corrosion material loss. An important finding was the substantial superior erosion-corrosion resistance of Marinel compared to the standard Cu-10%Ni, with interesting effects of impinging velocity and time of exposure being observed. Also this work provided some clear evidence of significant potential benefits in terms of erosion-corrosion resistance, obtained by the exposure of Marinel at the elevated temperature.