For service environments where standard pass/fail exposure testing is insufficient, electrochemical corrosion testing offers a more advanced analysis. Testing is performed through a controlled electrochemical reaction between two materials, or between an exposed surface and its surrounding environment. The introduction of voltage or a current to the testing setup rapidly accelerates the effect of the aqueous solution on the material. Therefore, targeted electrolyte solutions can be used to simulate long-term conditions and predict and characterize the corrosive properties of metal materials and components
Benefits of Electrochemical Corrosion Testing
While standard exposure testing has its value, electrochemical corrosion testing offers unique advantages over other testing methods, such as:
With the proper analytical equipment and appropriately trained staff, electrochemical corrosion testing can be performed easily in a controlled laboratory setting.
Electrochemical corrosion testing can measure the corrosivity potential of very small, or irregularly shaped samples down to the Pico amp level.
Results can be delivered in a matter of days or weeks, rather than the months sometimes required by exposure testing. As such, comparative analyses or relative positioning of the test material against judgment standards can occur as soon as possible, avoiding lengthy delays in decision-making during the design and/or sourcing processes.
- Quantitative Insight
By its nature, electrochemical corrosion testing offers a more comprehensive view of potential corrosion mechanisms and causes than what standard exposure testing shows. Rather than testing specific environmental scenarios and returning pass/fail results, electrochemical corrosion testing reveals a comprehensive understanding of the exact conditions under which a material will corrode.
Applications for Electrochemical Corrosion Testing
Electrochemical corrosion testing is suitable for myriad applications where standard corrosion testing doesn’t provide enough data, or for critical applications where advanced testing is required. Examples of situations that may require this testing include:
- Before medical devices can go to market and be implanted into patients, they must be tested for pitting, crevices, and corrosion susceptibility to ensure they are safe for biological contact.
- Aerospace components, medical devices, and other demanding designs require high-quality materials with very specific properties. Electrochemical corrosion testing enables design engineers to screen and compare raw materials to identify corrosion characteristics. The speed of this testing allows for discovery of what long-term testing method is appropriate for the selected material.
- Passivation and other surface modifications improve corrosion resistance. Electrochemical corrosion testing can measure the effectiveness of the manufacturing and handling processes in preventing corrosive residue to settle on the product, particularly medical devices. It can also compare and contrast various secondary processing effects and how they impact the corrosion properties of a material.
- Galvanic corrosion occurs when two metals come into contact—where one metal acts as a cathode and the other an anode (the anode will begin to corrode). Electrochemical corrosion testing can predict how bimetal combinations will interact.
Electrochemical corrosion testing is useful for analyzing corrosion behavior in a wide range of industries, including:
- Additive Manufacturing
- Chemical and Petrochemical
- Oil and Gas
How IMR Can Help
At IMR Test Labs, our highly trained staff of chemists, engineers, PhDs, and lab technicians have conducted hundreds of successful material analyses where the potential for any of the many varying types of corrosion was present. In addition to electrochemical corrosion testing capabilities, we possess the equipment and expertise to simulate most corrosive environments using a comprehensive array of aqueous and accelerated weathering methods, such as:
- Salt spray testing
- Cyclic corrosion
- Humidity exposure
- Gravelometer testing
- QUV exposure
- Exposure testing
IMR offers much more than state-of-the-art testing equipment—our experienced team will provide you with data, help interpret it, and determine what the test results mean for your unique design or operation. Our motto is: Not just data, knowledge.