Development of Advanced Electrochemical Emission Spectroscopy for Monitoring Corrosion in Simulated DOE Liquid Waste

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Various forms of general and localized corrosion represent principal threats to the integrity of DOE liquid waste storage tanks. These tanks, which are of a single wall or double wall design, depending upon their age, are fabricated from welded carbon steel and contain a complex waste-form comprised of NaOH and NaNO{sub 3}, along with trace amounts of phosphate, sulfate, carbonate, and chloride. Because waste leakage can have a profound environmental impact, considerable interest exists in predicting the accumulation of corrosion damage, so as to more effectively schedule maintenance and repair. The different tasks that are being carried out under the ... continued below

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Macdonald, Digby D.; Marx, Brian M.; Ahn, Sejin; Ruiz, Julio de; Soundararaja, Balaji; Smith, Morgan et al. January 15, 2008.

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Various forms of general and localized corrosion represent principal threats to the integrity of DOE liquid waste storage tanks. These tanks, which are of a single wall or double wall design, depending upon their age, are fabricated from welded carbon steel and contain a complex waste-form comprised of NaOH and NaNO{sub 3}, along with trace amounts of phosphate, sulfate, carbonate, and chloride. Because waste leakage can have a profound environmental impact, considerable interest exists in predicting the accumulation of corrosion damage, so as to more effectively schedule maintenance and repair. The different tasks that are being carried out under the current program are as follows: (1) Theoretical and experimental assessment of general corrosion of iron/steel in borate buffer solutions by using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), ellipsometry and XPS techniques; (2) Development of a damage function analysis (DFA) which would help in predicting the accumulation of damage due to pitting corrosion in an environment prototypical of DOE liquid waste systems; (3) Experimental measurement of crack growth rate, acoustic emission signals and coupling currents for fracture in carbon and low alloy steels as functions of mechanical (stress intensity), chemical (conductivity), electrochemical (corrosion potential, ECP), and microstructural (grain size, precipitate size, etc) variables in a systematic manner, with particular attention being focused on the structure of the noise in the current and its correlation with the acoustic emissions; (4) Development of fracture mechanisms for carbon and low alloy steels that are consistent with the crack growth rate, coupling current data and acoustic emissions; (5) Inserting advanced crack growth rate models for SCC into existing deterministic codes for predicting the evolution of corrosion damage in DOE liquid waste storage tanks; (6) Computer simulation of the anodic and cathodic activity on the surface of the steel samples in order to exactly predict the corrosion mechanisms; (7) Wavelet analysis of EC noise data from steel samples undergoing corrosion in an environment similar to that of the high level waste storage containers, to extract data pertaining to general, pitting and stress corrosion processes, from the overall data. The Point Defect Model (PDM) is directly applied as the theoretical assessment method for describing the passive film formed on iron/steels. The PDM is used to describe general corrosion in the passive region of iron. In addition, previous work suggests that pit formation is due to the coalescence of cation vacancies at the metal/film interface which would make it possible to use the PDM parameters to predict the onset of pitting. This previous work suggests that once the critical vacancy density is reached, the film ruptures to form a pit. Based upon the kinetic parameters derived for the general corrosion case, two parameters relating to the cation vacancy formation and annihilation can be calculated. These two parameters can then be applied to predict the transition from general to pitting corrosion for iron/mild steels. If cation vacancy coalescence is shown to lead to pitting, it can have a profound effect on the direction of future studies involving the onset of pitting corrosion. The work has yielded a number of important findings, including an unequivocal demonstration of the role of chloride ion in passivity breakdown on nickel in terms of cation vacancy generation within the passive film, the first detection and characterization of individual micro fracture events in stress corrosion cracking, and the determination of kinetic parameters for the generation and annihilation of point defects in the passive film on iron. The existence of coupling between the internal crack environment and the external cathodic environment, as predicted by the coupled environment fracture model (CEFM), has also been indisputably established for the AISI 4340/NaOH system. It is evident from the studies that analysis of coupling current noise is a very sensitive tool for studying the crack tip processes in relation to the chemical, mechanical, electrochemical and microstructural properties of the system. Experiments are currently being carried out to explore these crack tip processes by simultaneous measurement of the acoustic activity at the crack tip in an effort to validate the coupling current data. These latter data are now being used to deterministically predict the accumulation of general and localized corrosion damage on carbon in prototypical DOE liquid waste storage tanks. Computer simulation of the cathodic and anodic activity on the steel surfaces is also being carried out in an effort to simulate the actual corrosion process. Wavelet analysis of the coupling current data promises to be a useful tool to differentiate between the different corrosion mechanisms.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/64002-3
  • Grant Number: FG02-05ER64002
  • DOI: 10.2172/966695 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 966695
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932418

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Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • January 15, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Feb. 20, 2017, 1:33 p.m.

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Macdonald, Digby D.; Marx, Brian M.; Ahn, Sejin; Ruiz, Julio de; Soundararaja, Balaji; Smith, Morgan et al. Development of Advanced Electrochemical Emission Spectroscopy for Monitoring Corrosion in Simulated DOE Liquid Waste, report, January 15, 2008; [University Park, Pennsylvania]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932418/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.