Structural and electrochemical characterization of sputter-deposited nitrided NiCr alloys
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Nickel-based coatings are potential candidates for the protection of electrochemical dissolution of steel surfaces. Such coatings, elaborated by magnetron sputtering in a nitrogen atmosphere, offer good corrosion protection, good adherence as well as stability for metallic structures. NiCr alloys with almost constant composition have been deposited with different nitrogen contents on stainless steel and carbon steel surfaces. The coating uniformity, homogeneity, composition and crystallinity have been studied by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry, atomic force microscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques. The corrosion degradation behavior of all the samples was tested in NaCl and NaCl and CO2 mixture exposures using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. Nitrided NiCr alloys on a stainless steel substrate resulted with better adhesion than carbon steel, by delaying the corrosion mechanism when exposed to NaCl and CO2 solution. A comparison of the corrosion resistive behavior of the substrates (stainless steel, carbon steel) and the coatings is made by using the electrical capacitance concept from a double-layer model for the coating-metal interface. Springer-Verlag 2005.