Corrosion resistance of aluminum alloys is related to the presence of a thin, passivating aluminum oxide film on the surface. In this paper, we perform first-principles quantum-mechanical calculations to provide atomic scale understanding of the initiation of corrosion in Al. Our results support the hypothesis that hydrogen plays an important role at different stages of the Al corrosion process. In particular, atomic hydrogen can penetrate into the oxide film and cause structural damage in both the oxide and at the Al/Al 2O3 interface. The corrosion is then initiated by a breakdown of the oxide film and a subsequent pit development on the surface of the metal exposed to the environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films