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Exposure of a number of aluminum alloys to cyclic laboratory corrosion tests in modified ASTM corrosive water (ASTM Corrosion Test for Engine Coolants in Glassware (D 1384-70)) shows that metallographic cross-sectioning procedures are required for a meaningful assessment of performance. Simple weight loss determinations, by themselves, do not give an accurate measure of corrosion behavior when attack is localized as it normally is in aluminum alloys. Electrochemical tests are useful for assessing inhibitor effectiveness and galvanic corrosion effects. However, without a detailed correlation with the type and rate of actual corrosion mechanism (pitting, crevice attack, intergranular corrosion), they should not be used for lifetime predictions.
corrosion tests, aluminum, heat exchangers, pitting, crevice corrosion, intergranular corrosion
Senior staff metallurgist, Center for Technology, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp., Pleasanton, Calif.