Chapter 3: Principles of Aqueous Corrosion
This chapter discusses the principles of corrosion of metals in aqueous environments. The thermodynamics of aqueous corrosion is the subject of the first half of this chapter, which addresses concepts such as corrosion reactions and free-energy change, the relationship between free energy and electrochemical potential, the effect of ionic concentration on electrode potential, and the corrosion behavior of a metal based on its potential-pH diagram. The corrosion (potential-pH) behavior of iron, gold, copper, zinc, aluminum, and titanium are described. Understanding the kinetics of corrosion and the factors that control the rates of corrosion reactions requires examination of the concepts of polarization behavior and identification of the various forms of polarization in an electrochemical cell. These concepts, addressed in the remaining of this chapter, include anodic and cathodic reactions, the mixed-potential theory, and the exchange currents.