The effect of dry grinding on 304L stainless steel’s passive behavior is compared to two other surface finishing (mechanical polishing down to 2400 with SiC emery paper and 1 µm with diamond paste, respectively). The characterization of the surface state was performed using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, 3D optical profilometer, and X-ray diffraction. Results indicate that each surface treatment leads to different surface states. The ground specimens present an ultrafine grain layer and a strong plastic deformation underneath the surface, while an ultrafine grain layer characterizes the subsurface of the polished specimens. Grinding induces high residual compressive stresses and high roughness compared to polishing. The characterization of the passive films was performed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and Mott–Schottky analysis. The study shows that the semiconductor properties and the thickness of the passive films are dependent on the surface state of the 304L stainless steel.
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