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Template-Free One-Step Electrodeposition Method for Fabrication of Robust Superhydrophobic Coating on Ferritic Steel with Self-Cleaning Ability and Superior Corrosion Resistance

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posted on 2019-09-16, 15:05 authored by T. P. Rasitha, S. C. Vanithakumari, R. P. George, John Philip
The corrosion of ferritic steel, a widely used structural material in the power and nuclear industries exposed to humid coastal environments, is a major concern. Here, we present a template-free one-step electrodeposition method for the fabrication of a robust superhydrophobic (SHP) coating on ferritic steel with excellent mechanical stability, enhanced corrosion resistance, and self-cleaning ability. By varying the electrodeposition time and potential, the micronanoscale hierarchical surface structures were optimized. The coated SHP surfaces were characterized by water contact angle measurement, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The coated surfaces showed a characteristic cauliflower morphology of cerium myristate with micronanoscale features. The maximum water contact angle achieved was 162.8 ± 2.4°. Shear abrasion testing showed good mechanical durability for the prepared coatings. The as-prepared SHP coating showed a five order reduction in corrosion current density (4.14 × 10–11 A/cm2) and corrosion rate (4.63 × 10–7 mm/y) as compared to the bare sample. Further, a six order enhancement in the polarization resistance (1.55 × 109 Ω) was also observed in agressive chloride solution, which confirmed the excellent corrosion resistance of the SHP coating. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) studies showed a high impedance modulus for SHP coated surfaces due to the presence of a compact protective layer of cerium myristate. This observed impedance modulus of the SHP surface was approximately four orders higher than the reported value on magnesium alloys. This study provides a new platform for obtaining a robust, mechanically stable, and corrosion resistant SHP coating with a self-cleaning ability on ferritic steel substrates that may be adapted for a range of materials in practical applications.