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The Corrosion Behaviour of WC-Co-Ru Alloys in Aggressive Chloride Media

Potgieter, JH and Olubambi, P and Potgieter-Vermaak, SS (2014) The Corrosion Behaviour of WC-Co-Ru Alloys in Aggressive Chloride Media. International Journal of Electrochemistry, 2014. ISSN 2090-3537

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Abstract

Hardmetals possess excellent wear resistance, making them suitable alloys in several industrial applications. Mine waters with both dissolved chloride and sulphate salts can be severely corrosive and can limit the application of hardmetal tools in the mining industry. Ru additions to these alloys can refine and improve selected mechanical properties, but its influence on the corrosion resistance is unknown. A series of WC-Co-Ru alloys was evaluated in different chloride containing media to investigate their corrosion resistance. Standard electrochemical corrosion tests, chronoamperometric measurements, and surface analyses with Raman spectroscopy were conducted. An increasing amount of Ru improves the corrosion resistance of all the alloys. The effect is not as dramatic as that observed with stainless steels containing Ru in corrosive media. In both corrosive media Ru decreased the cathodic Tafel constant and has a retarding influence on the cathodic part of the corrosion reaction. Raman analyses indicated the presence of tungsten oxide, hydrated tungsten oxide compounds, and CoO and Co3O4 formed on the alloy surfaces during the corrosion process.

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