Control of Corrosion Scales on Metals

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemistry


This project centres on novel methods to address the formation of corrosion scales on metals, particularly carbon steels. Initially the student will prepare thin iron films on TEM silicon nitride membranes and then corrode them in particular solutions. These will provide samples for characterisation at DIAMOND where we aim to map the corrosion and inhibitor products at very high spatial resolution. We then will progress towards more complicated and 'real' life corroding systems with the scales growing on top of them. In parallel other related lab-based measurements will be made using novel IR spectroscopy.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512461/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1942962 Studentship EP/R512461/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2021 Surabhi Agrawal
Description The project has been focused on the fundamental scientific study of the iron corrosion process in carbon dioxide environment. Under such conditions, an iron carbonate layer (commonly referred to as scale) forms on the iron/steel surface but little is understood about the reaction mechanism. My work has been focused on observing and evaluation the nucleation process in-situ in liquid, using a range of novel techniques each of which works best at a different resolution. These techniques are namely- laser scanning confocal microscopy, liquid Transmission Electron Microscopy and Synchrotron X-ray absorption measurements. Considerable effort went into developing and modifying bespoke liquid cells to use with these techniques. Work done so far shows that we can understand the chemical composition of the formed scale, the crystallinity of the material and the solution composition using these techniques, all of which improves our understanding of the reaction process.
Exploitation Route The work done so far has been on the fundamental study of the iron carbonate scale that forms in steel pipelines. Further work would involve studying the impact of other chemicals such as corrosion inhibitors and scale inhibitors on the process and to modify and model a protective passive scale.
Sectors Construction