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The nature of microgalvanic couple driven corrosion of brazed joints was investigated. 316L stainless steel samples were joined using Cu-Ag-Ti and Cu-Ag-In-Ti braze alloys. Phase and elemental composition across each braze and parent metal interface was characterized and scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy (SKPFM) was used to map the Volta potential differences. Co-localization of SKPFM with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) measurements enabled spatially resolved correlation of potential differences with composition and subsequent galvanic corrosion behavior. Following exposure to the aggressive solution, corrosion damage morphology was characterized to determine the mode of attack and likely initiation areas. When exposed to 0.6 M NaCl, corrosion occurred at the braze-316L interface preceded by preferential dissolution of the Cu-rich phase within the braze alloy. Braze corrosion was driven by galvanic couples between the braze alloys and stainless steel as well as between different phases within the braze microstructure. Microgalvanic corrosion between phases of the braze alloys was investigated via SKPFM to determine how corrosion of the brazed joints developed.

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This document was originally published in Metals by Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: doi: 10.3390/met6040091