Biodegradation behaviour of Fe-based alloys in Hanks’ Balanced Salt Solutions: Part I. material characterisation and corrosion testing


Research on Fe-based biodegradable alloys for implant applications has increased considerably over the past decade. However, there is limited information on the influence of testing electrolytes on corrosion product formation and general corrosion progress. In this work, the effect of Hanks’ Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS) with or without Ca2+ on the corrosion of Fe, Fe35Mn and (Fe35Mn)5Ag powder-processed coupons has been studied using potentiodynamic polarisation, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), and preliminary localised measurement of pH and dissolved oxygen concentration in close proximity to the metal surface. Both Fe35Mn and (Fe35Mn)5Ag alloys showed accelerated corrosion when compared to pure Fe based on potentiodynamic testing results, with FeMnAg exhibiting the highest corrosion rate in Ca2+-containing HBSS. The results indicate that in Ca2+-containing HBSS, the formation of a partially protective Ca/P layer decelerates the corrosion progress, whereas the Fe- and Mn-phosphates formed in Ca2+-free HBSS do not have the same effect. The Ca/P layer on (Fe35Mn)5Ag experienced a reduction in resistance following several hours of testing, indicating partial loss of its protective effect.
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