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Characterization and Electrochemical Analysis of Acidic Condensate-Induced Corrosion on Aluminized Coating on Steel in Reside...

by Dino Sulejmanovic, Jiheon Jun, Zhiming Gao, Yi Feng Su
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Condensing furnace residential heaters are starting to replace outdated and less efficient non-condensing units in homes across the US. However, the burning of natural gas in these new units produces acidic gases, which can form acid droplets (H2SO4, HNO3, H2CO3, etc.) that are corrosive to low-grade heat exchanger metallic materials. Type-1 aluminized steel has been used in industrial applications, such as marine, heating, and automobile parts, due to its resistance to oxidation at elevated temperature. Many components of the condensing furnaces, including heat exchangers, are made from type-1 aluminized steel. We investigated the interaction of type-1 aluminized steel substrates with two acidic condensate liquids by 500 h corrosion exposures as well as short-term electrochemical impedance measurements. SEM plan and cross-sectional view images revealed damage to the Al-Si rich layer and exposure of the steel substrate. The non-uniform damage in the Al-Si rich layer was likely attributed to a pitting corrosion mechanism and induced by high acidity of the condensate liquid. Electrochemical impedance measurements in an acidic condensate revealed lower corrosion resistance of the aluminized steel surface with a weld line, identifying welded sections as preferential corrosion initiation sites.