AbstractIn the present study, to understand the mechanism of Mn on inhibiting Fe-caused Mg corrosion, the corrosion behaviour of commercial pure Mg and Mg-6Mn alloy in 0.6 M NaCl solution is investigated. It is found that in Mg-6Mn alloy, Fe impurity is incorporated into Mn to form Mn (Fe) phase with Fe as solid solute. The initial galvanic corrosion cannot be reduced through converting Fe-rich phase to Mn (Fe) phase, since Mn (Fe) phase also has relatively strong cathodic activity and has much larger volume fraction than Fe-rich phase. However, the cathodic activation behaviour of pure Mg is inhibited. The cathodic activity even decreases for Mg-Mn alloy with increased exposure time, due to the reduced cathodic HER at the Mn (Fe) particles. Mn can be oxidized at the OCP of Mg-6Mn alloy, resulting in relatively dense Mn-rich corrosion film on particle surface, which separates the particle from the electrolyte and, consequently, inhibits HER.