Zhang, Bo (2005)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
In this work an investigation into the effect of alloying additions (Mn, Cu, Sb and Zr) on microstructure and corrosion of Zn alloys and hot dip galvanised coatings was undertaken. The first part of this thesis focuses on the effect of alloying additions on the corrosion of Zn alloys. The result shows that Mn is the most beneficial addition, which can significantly improve the resistance of Zn. The effect of Cu depends on its concentration. A high level of Cu addition has a deleterious effect on the corrosion resistance as the Cu-rich particles are catalytic cathodic sites for oxygen reduction. Additions of Zr and Sb were found to have minor effect on the corrosion behaviour of Zn alloys. The effect of these additions on the microstructure of hot dip galvanised coatings was investigated in the second part. Both Zr and Mn can inhibit the layer growth of active steels with high Si content. Thus, Mn and Zr might be an alternative addition to Ni which can control the excessive reaction of the active steels. Addition of 0.8 wt % Cu significantly increases the coating thickness of the galvanised steel containing 0.02 wt % Si. The growth kinetics of the alloy layers follows a linear law. The final part of this thesis focuses on the effect of these additions on the atmospheric corrosion resistance and electrochemistry of hot dip galvanised coatings. Among the alloying additions investigated in this study, Mn is the most beneficial addition to the Zn bath and can significantly improve the resistance of the hot dip galvanised coating to atmospheric corrosion. The effect of other additions on corrosion resistance is minor. The beneficial effect of Mn addition is mainly due to the formation of a Mn-rich oxide layer on the top surface during the galvanising process, which can greatly inhibit the cathodic reactivity of the hot dip galvanised coating. Coupled with the relatively low cost and ease of alloying of this element, these various factors suggest that Mn might have broader applications in general galvanising.
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