Accelerated Testing to Investigate Corrosion Mechanisms of Carburized and Carbonitrided Martensitic Stainless Steel for Aerospace Bearings in Harsh Environments

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Carburizable martensitic stainless steels (MSSs) are attractive candidates for bearings due to their high corrosion resistance, high hardness, and high temperature performance. Wear performance in tribocorrosion applications is strongly influenced by the surrounding environment. Electrochemical testing was used to evaluate three different surface treatments on AMS 5930 steel developed for advanced gas turbine engine bearing applications: low temperature (LTT), high temperature (HTT), and carbonitrided (CN). HTT had a higher corrosion rate that increased with time, whereas LTT and CN had lower corrosion rates that were stable over time. Accelerated testing revealed that surface treatment significantly influenced how corrosion propagated: HTT was more uniform; conversely, LTT and CN showed localized attack. Degradation mechanisms developed from electrochemical methods provide rapid insight into long-term wear behavior.