Abstract— Weathering steel (WS) of Corten B type was exposed for three years at three test sites including urban and marine sites. After one year-exposure, WS showed the protective ability better than carbon steel (CS) did. The corrosion loss of WS fitted well power law with high correlations. The characterization of rust layer was studied by using X-ray diffraction, optical microscope and SEM-EDX. Goethite (α-FeOOH), akaganeite (β-FeOOH), lepidocrocite (γ-FeOOH), maghemite and magnetite were founded in corrosion product formed on WS for 3, 6, and 12 month-exposure; The structure of rust layer of WS composed of two layers – the inner layer dark-grayish, dense and good adherent to steel substrate; and the outer layer porous and reddish; The morphologies of rust surface showed the sandy and flowery structure typical for lepidocrocite and cotton balls structure typical for goethite; Cr and Cu distributed in the inner layer of rust – at distance of 40-60µm from steel substrate. The resistance of rust layers was evaluated by using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurement. This proved the predominance of WS over CS in corrosion resistance. The influence of environmental factors on protectiveness of WS was also discussed in this paper.
Keywords: weathering steel, rust layer, corrosion loss, rust resistance, protectiveness.
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