Investigating atmospheric corrosion behavior of carbon steel in coastal regions of Mauritius using Raman Spectroscopy

B. Yashwansingh R. Surnam, Cheng-Wei Chui, Huaping Xiao, Hong Liang


Low carbon steel was exposed at two sites in Mauritius, namely Port Louis and Belle Mare. The site at Port Louis is basically an industrial marine one whereas the one at Belle Mare is a purely marine site. Though the corrosion loss trend at both sites follow the power law, the corrosion loss at Port Louis was found to be higher than that at Belle Mare. This study has been performed to investigate the surface characteristics of the rust layers of the samples exposed at the two sites, through Raman spectroscopy and SEM, so as to get a better insight into the mechanism of the atmospheric corrosion process. For Port Louis, it was observed that there was not much change in the corrosion products in the rust layer over the 3 years period. The structure was less compact than that at Belle Mare with the presence of lepidocrocite and akaganeite as commonly observed corrosion products. The corrosion rate at Port Louis is, therefore, expected to follow the same trend over the long term. For Belle Mare, the corrosion products changed significantly after 3 years of exposure. Though lepidocrocite and akaganeite were observed on the surface after 0.2 years of exposure, magnetite was the most probable corrosion product in the more compact rust layer after 3 years of exposure. This compactness of the rust layer is expected to have reduced the corrosion rate as compared to that of Port Louis. Significant changes in the corrosion rate at Belle Mare are, therefore, expected over the medium and the long term.

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