Improving the corrosion resistance of stainless steel
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Stainless steels are widely used in the food and medical industries. Despite their good corrosion resistance, highly corrosive environments can still lead to material failure. This work investigated the effectiveness of low cost and environmentally friendly surface treatments to improve the corrosion resistance of SS316. Mechanically polished samples were treated by heating in deionized water, a hydrogen peroxide solution, electropolishing and heat treating in an oven. Cyclic voltammetry and optical microscopy were used to measure and image corrosion on the samples in a 0.9% NaCl solution. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and ellipsometry were subsequently used to analyze the composition and thickness of the oxide layer. The greatest improvement in corrosion resistance was observed after treating stainless steel in a hydrogen peroxide solution. However, electropolishing also showed a large improvement while having other practical advantages.