Corrosion of lead silicate glass (LSG) contacting 0.5 M aqueous nitric acid (HNO3) was investigated via scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma analysis, and weight-loss measurement to determine the respective contributions of the ion-exchange vs. the hydrolysis reactions. The LSG having mole ratios of less than 0.7 showed very little weight loss with no Si network deterioration. At XM > 0.7, the mechanism changed into the hydrolysis, which caused the formation of a network-less gel layer resting at the solid/liquid interface. Addition of titania (TiO2) and zirconia (ZrO2) had disparate effects: XM < 0.7 improved corrosion resistance; while XM > 0.7 caused detrimental consequences.

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