Electrochemical polarisation and galvanic couple behaviour of the primary phase of 55% Al-Zn coating investigated using band microelectrodes (BME) and band microelectrode arrays
Electrochemical polarisation experiments have shown that anodic dissolution processes on Al–40% Zn alloys are significantly enhanced in chloride compared to sulfate-based electrolytes. The aluminium content of the alloys allowed passive behaviour to be observed in sulfate electrolyte even in the presence of zinc-rich precipitates on the surface. Electrolyte pH affected cathodic processes, which was attributed to the rate of proton reduction and the passivity of the surface. Monitoring the OCP of the alloy band during polarisation of neighbouring zinc electrodes in band microelectrode (BME) arrays showed that generation of alkaline pH at the zinc electrodes affected the OCP of the alloy when the inter-electrode spacing was 10, 50, and 200 μm. Where elements of a BME array were close enough to interact via mass transport, the overall galvanic behaviour of the cell was found to be anodic or cathodic, whereas the alloy was consistently cathodic with respect to zinc in galvanic cells at larger separations.