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Home  >  Journal list  >  MATERIALS TRANSACTIONS  >  Vol.43  No.11 (2002)  >  pp.2818-2825

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Characterization of Rust Layers on Weathering Steels Air-Exposed for a Long Period

Katsuhiko Asami1) and Michio Kikuchi1)
1) Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku Univesity

Several weathering steels and a plain carbon steel exposed to atmosphere for 17 years at Yokkaichi (at a coastal and industrial region) and Mikuni Pass (at a rural region) in Japan were analyzed and compared to find effects of environments on the formed rusts. Specimens were examined with electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Their cross-sections were also analyzed by EPMA . XRD detected mainly α-FeOOH as major rust constituent and β-FeOOH and γ-FeOOH as minor ones in the surface region. The concentration of β-FeOOH was especially high on the skyward surface of all the specimens irrespective of steel composition. EPMA results showed that Si, Na, S were abundant on the skyward surface. In the cross-section, alloying elements Cu and Cr were enriched in the inner layer of rust as well as Si, while P and Ni did not show any characteristic distribution. TEM examination of cross-section of rusts showed that α-FeOOH was also main constituent of the rust. The β-FeOOH showed no special distribution feature in the main part of rust except in the very surface region. Amorphous rust judged from electron diffraction pattern and Fe3O4 distributed mainly near the interface between steel and rust layer. The γ-FeOOH was contained much more in rust on plain carbon steel than weathering steels. A quantity ratio α⁄γ, that is, the ratio of α-FeOOH to the sum of β-FeOOH, γ-FeOOH and magnetite, is >1 for a weathering steel, and <1 for a mild steel. The Si in the inner layer was suggested in the form of SiO44− state. There was almost no difference between specimens exposed at the industrial region and the rural region because of chloride sprayed for melting snow on road during winter at the rural region.

weathering steel, plain carbon steel, rust, air-exposure, electron probe micro analysis, depth profile, transmission electron microscopy, surface composition

Received: June 20, 2002
Accepted: September 04, 2002 , Published online: September 06, 2005
Copyright (c) 2005 The Japan Institute of Metals



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