Effect of pH on corrosion behavior of CuCrZr in solution without and with NaCl

C. T. Kwok, P. K. Wong, Hau Chung Man, F. T. Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


CuCrZr is a high copper alloy widely used as electrical and thermal conducting material, especially in heat exchangers in nuclear reactors. In this respect, the physical and fatigue properties of CuCrZr have been extensively studied. The electrochemical behavior of CuCrZr, on the other hand, has not been adequately investigated. In the present study, the effect of pH on the corrosion behavior of CuCrZr in aqueous solutions without and with chloride (0.6 M NaCl) was studied. The pH of the solutions is found to exert significant influence on the corrosion behavior of CuCrZr. In acidic solutions without chloride, the corrosion of CuCrZr is ascribed to active dissolution with soluble products. In neutral and alkaline solutions without NaCl, the presence of oxides on the surface of CuCrZr leads to a noble shift in corrosion potential and passivation results in increased corrosion resistance. In chloride solutions at various pH values, the chloride ions influence the formation of the surface layers and the anodic dissolution process during polarization. At high pH, CuCrZr shows significant passivity and high corrosion resistance due to the growth of Cu2O/Cu(OH) film which hinders further dissolution whereas at low pH the corrosion resistance is lowered due to active dissolution of Cu.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-62
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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