The pitting corrosion resistance of AISI 1045 carbon steel with as-quenched, tempered, and low-carbon martensitic microstructures was investigated in boric-borate buffer solutions with and without NaCl. Analysis by micro-scale polarization found that tempering and decarburizing treatments decreased the pitting corrosion resistance of as-quenched martensite. The high corrosion resistance of the as-quenched martensite was likely due to the large amount of interstitial carbon. The pitting corrosion resistances of asquenched martensite, primary ferrite, and pearlite were compared using micro-scale polarization measurements. It was determined that the pitting corrosion resistances of the typical steel structures were ordered as follows: (high) as-quenched martensite > tempered martensite ∼ primary ferrite > pearlite (low). The pitting corrosion resistance of steel was shown to depend on its microstructure.
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