Immersion exposures of 304 stainless steel ground to a #4 finish were conducted in brines representative of the chemistry of sea salt aerosols at low (40%) and high (76%) relative humidity (RH). Low-RH-equivalent brines resulted in cross-hatched pits, whereas high-RH-equivalent brines produced ellipsoidal, faceted pits. Distinct surface microcracking was observed to be associated only with cross-hatched pits and appeared to correlate with a high concentration of dissolved carbonate species in low-RH-equivalent solutions while being absent in the high-RH-equivalent brines. Correlating these results to brine composition suggested that the concentrations of MgCl2 and dissolved carbonate species in the brines could, in the presence of machining-induced surface microstructure and residual stress, determine pit morphology in marine atmospheres, thereby potentially impacting stress corrosion cracking susceptibility and lifetime prediction.

You do not currently have access to this content.