Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Molten metal corrosion of pot hardware materials in continuous galvanizing lines is an important factor in maintaining high productivity at steel sheet mills around the world. A complete understanding of the mechanisms which impact the corrosion properties of structural metals submerged in industrial molten zinc baths has not been achieved. Acquisition of deeper knowledge in this field is very difficult because of the numerous variables involved with the zinc environment. As an example, the aluminum content that is employed varies from near 0% aluminum in general (batch) galvanizing pots to around 0.14wt% Al for high-grade automotive sheet steels and again to aluminum levels exceeding 0.2wt% for various construction-grade steels. Moreover, it is widely experienced that the molten metal corrosivity of these small changes in aluminum concentration can have a pronounced impact on the life of submerged galvanizing hardware.;One aspect of understanding the molten zinc corrosion characteristics is determining the solubility of structural hardware metals as a function of changes in aluminum content in the liquid zinc. Hence, an array of tests was performed to measure the actual corrosion loss of 316L stainless steel samples after immersion in molten zinc with aluminum concentrations ranging from about 0% to 1wt% Al. In general, these tests indicated that the corrosion rate of 316L was quite high for pure zinc (0% Al) then decreased drastically at increasing aluminum levels between 0% and about 0.14wt% to a rather minimal corrosion rate beyond 0.14% aluminum, maintaining a low dissolution rate beyond 1% Al. The significance of 0.14wt% Al has been defined by not only the microanalysis of the reaction mechanisms on test samples but also by industry-accepted phase diagrams and previously published research.;Based on the results and procedures characterized by this investigation, it may be possible to further understand the reaction mechanisms and detailed corrosion features of other alloys utilized in industrial galvanizing operations, such as cobalt-based and iron-based superalloys. Furthermore, recognizing the significance of the phase transformations in the region of 0.14wt% aluminum on these advanced alloys may promote more focused research in this economically important aluminum regime.
Bright, Mark A., "Dissolution and diffusion characteristics of 316L stainless steel in molten zinc containing variable concentrations of aluminum" (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2763.