Galvanostep

Definition - What does Galvanostep mean?

Galvanostep is a technique where an electrode undergoes a series of current polarizations in increments or decrements. This is mainly seen in the process of galvanic corrosion, which involves various electrochemical processes like reduction and oxidation.

In the process of corrosion, electrons that are released through oxidation are obtained by the element involved in reduction in the solution undergoing corrosion. In such, there is an electron flow or current making it measurable and electronically controllable. Thus, galvanostep or experimental methods can be utilized to define metal's and other structures' corrosion properties as well as their components when combined with different electrolyte solutions. Corrosion properties are distinct to every solution system or metal.

Corrosionpedia explains Galvanostep

In a laboratory setting, cells for polarization are installed, consisting of:

  • Reference electrode
  • Electrolyte solution
  • Metal sample attached to specimen holder
  • Counter electrode

In galvanostep, the metal sample is recognized as the working electrode. In the setup, the electrodes are attached to an electronic device referred to as a "potentiostat". The counting, reference and counting electrodes are put into the electrolyte solution that closely resembles the environment of the structure requiring testing. Within the solution, the potential current is produced between the electrodes. In this, the corrosion potential is gauged via the potentiostat and described as the energy difference that exists between the reference and working electrode.

The majority of experiments enforce a potential right to the working electrode, and this is followed by gauging the current. It imposes a continuous potential into the electrode for a particular period of time. In such, the current that was measured is plotted against time. Experiments where the potential is replaced by the current are called "galvanodynamic".

Galvanostep experiments control or measure the current as well as the oxidation and reduction potential. This type of testing provides common applications like:

  • Finished medical devices
  • Analysis for crevice or pitting corrosion susceptibility
  • Raw material assessment for degradation characteristics
  • Corrosive behavior modifications or passivation effects assessment
  • Comparing and evaluating the processing effects of corrosion properties
  • Assessing combinations of galvanic corrosion and bimetal behaviors

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