Journal of Physics D, Applied Physics vol:39 issue:15 pages:3184-3192
Electrochemical noise measurements were performed to investigate the intrinsically stochastic character of the tribocorrosion process. Unidirectional sliding tests (pin-on-disc) were performed using AISI 304L stainless steel sliding against corundum. Experiments were carried out in Cl- and SO42- containing media under open-circuit and potentiostatic polarization conditions. The power spectral density (PSD) of the current and potential signals showed a strong dependence on the sliding frequency but did not depend significantly on the normal load between 5 and 20 N. The fluctuations of the tangential and normal loads were also recorded, and a critical comparison between the PSD of the electrochemical response and the PSD of the mechanical solicitation (load) is proposed. At high frequencies (f > 0.1 Hz), the PSD of current or potential fluctuations have significantly different shapes than the PSD of load signals: the electrochemical signal PSD is governed by the dynamic balance between local depassivation and repassivation which only depends on the kinetics of the electrochemical phenomena. For lower frequencies, a plateau is observed for both the electrochemical PSD and the load PSD. The electrochemical signal is then governed by the continuous depassivation induced by sliding which appears as a low frequency component. These results suggest that the electrochemical noise technique investigated in the frequency domain might be a promising electrochemical tool for successfully unfolding tribocorrosion signatures for material parings in sliding-corrosion tests.