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Galvanic corrosion current measurements carried out on stressed Type 301 stainless steel coupled to zinc at six underground test sites over a period of four years indicate that the galvanic current is controlled by soil resistivity or oxygen availability in the soil. In well aerated soils, resistivity plays a dominant role, but in poorly aerated soils, oxygen controls the corrosion process. Furthermore, at a certain depth, approximately 1 m, soil resistivity is strongly influenced by soil temperature and only slightly affected by soil moisture. Finally, Type 301 stainless steel in a half-hard or full-hard condition is susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement failure in soil when exposed to potentials capable of causing hydrogen evolution.
corrosion, soils, galvanic corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement, metallic corrosion, soil resistivity, soil temperature
Metallurgist, Corrosion Group, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD