MSE 576 Corrosion

Sem. 1. Class 3, cr. 3. (offered in alternate years). Prerequisite: senior or graduate standing in engineering or science.

MSE 576 is an elective course.

Weekly Schedule: Three 50-minute lectures.

Rate-controlling steps in electrode processes; activation, ohmic, and concentration polarization; passivation; potentiostatic studies and alloy design; applications to engineering systems. Offered in alternate years.

Relation of Course to Program Outcomes
1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering to problems in materials engineering.
5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems, particularly in the context of materials selection and design.

To utilize fundamental thermodynamic and kinetic concepts to describe destructive chemical interractions of materials with their environment. To understand methods for prediction and control of aqueous corrosion and high-temperature oxidation.

Course Objectives
Upon completion of the course, the student is able to:

  • Describe qualitatively the important forms (mechanisms) of corrosion, including uniform corrosion and the many forms of localized corrosion.
  • Describe the corrosion resistance of important engineering materials in common environments. Be able to recognize the classic cases of especially favorable and especially unfavorable combinations.
  • Understand and explain the common methods of corrosion control: materials selection and design, coatings, inhibitors, galvanic and electrochemical protection.
  • Locate and utilize electrochemical data to postulate and formulate electrochemical half-cell and cell reactions for corrision processes. Utilize thermodynamic criteria to determine where these postulated reactions are thermodynamically possible.
  • Construct and interpret Pourbaix diagrams: graphical representation of thermodynamically-possible corrosion products as a function of electrode potential and pH.
  • Understand and explain the common modes of rate control in aqueous corrosion: activation, concentration, and ohmic polarization.
  • Perform kinetic calculations based on the Tafel equation. Employ Tafel constructions and the mixed-potential theory to interpret Ecorr and icorr.
  • Understand and explain the use of electrochemical tests in corrosion testing: cthodic and anodic polarization experiments.
  • Understand and explain the role of passivity in the corrosion resistance of materials such as stainless steel.
  • Understand the use of electrochemical anodic polarization to induce and evaluate passivity.
  • Understand and explain the thermodynamics (phase-stability diagrams) and kinetics of gas-phase oxidation reactions.


Robert Spitzer

Contribution of course to meeting the professional component: MSE 576 is a materials-specific technical elective course.

Prepared by: Elliott Slamovich                                                            Date: April 25th, 2007