Carbon steel electrodes covered with a specific low-pH cement grout (pH ~10.7 at 20°C), designed for nuclear waste management applications, were immersed for 30 days in a 0.01-M NaCl + 0.01-M NaHCO3 solution (pH 7 measured at 20°C), in aerated conditions, at 80°C. The corrosion processes were studied by voltammetry and linear polarization resistance measurements while the corrosion product layers were analyzed by µ-Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Most of the electrodes (75%) suffered from localized corrosion, a phenomenon associated with the formation of a heterogeneous Fe3O4/FeS layer. It is proposed that the mechanisms of the particular corrosion process observed here are associated with galvanic effects, the large magnetite-covered zone acting as cathode and the locally mackinawite-covered zones being anodic regions.
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