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    Influence of Chromium on the Atmospheric-Corrosion Behavior of Steel

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    As part of a long-range program to evaluate systematically the effects of various amounts of single alloying elements on the corrosion resistance of steel, atmospheric-corrosion tests were conducted with steels containing from 0.01 to 28 percent chromium. Specimens of the steels were exposed for periods up to 8 yr at Newark, N.J. (industrial); South Bend, Pa. (semirural); and the Kure Beach, N.C., 800-ft lot (moderate marine) and 80-ft lot (severe marine). The corrosion performance of the steels was determined by visual examination and by weight-loss and pitting measurements. The results of the study show that small amounts of chromium, up to about 2.0 percent, in steel are detrimental and decrease atmospheric-corrosion resistance. Above this level the addition of chromium to about 12 percent gradually improves corrosion resistance in industrial and semirural atmospheres. Steels containing 12 percent or more chromium are “stainless” in these environments and corrosion is practically negligible. In marine atmospheres about 15 percent chromium in steel is required before negligible corrosion losses are attained. Although slight pitting and rust staining may occur above the 15 percent level in marine atmospheres, this type of attack gradually decreases as the chromium content is increased to 28 percent.


    stainless steels, chromium-nickel alloys, corrosion environments, exposure, weathering, tests

    Author Information:

    Schmitt, R. J.
    U. S. Steel Corp., Monroeville, Pa.

    Mullen, C. X.
    U. S. Steel Corp., Monroeville, Pa.

    Committee/Subcommittee: A01.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP45900S