Investigation of Corrosion Resistance Enhancement for Biodegradable Magnesium Alloy by Ball Burnishing Process
Chenyao Cao*, Jiang Zhu*,, Tomohisa Tanaka*, and Dinh Ngoc Pham**
*Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology
2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
**Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Magnesium and magnesium-based alloys are considered ideal materials for implants in orthopedic treatment because their stiffness is close to that of human bones, and they can be absorbed gradually in the human organism. However, a major issue in their actual application is that the corrosion speed of Mg alloys is very high in aggressive environments such as the human fluids. In previous studies, many approaches have been attempted to enhance the corrosion resistance of Mg alloys. In this research, ball burnishing, a mechanical surface finishing process, is applied to improve the corrosion resistance of Mg alloys by changing its surface properties. The influence of the burnishing parameters on the corrosion resistance is investigated, and the corrosion of a treated and non-treated sample are compared. The test material used is the AZ31 Mg alloy. Firstly, a comprehensive review of the effect of burnishing on the final microstructures is reported. The influence of burnishing on grain size, work-hardened layer thickness, crystal orientation, and residual stress of the sample is discussed. Secondly, by conducting an especially designed long-term immersion test, the mass loss and surface evolution of each sample are evaluated. The experimental results indicate that, under proper processing conditions, the mass loss of the treated sample (8.8 mg) can be reduced to 36% of the non-treated one (24.2 mg). To elucidate the mechanism behind corrosion resistance enhancement by burnishing, the samples treated with the optimal processing parameters found are immersed in an aggressive solution for 1, 3, 5, and 7 days. From the results of mass loss measurement and surface structure characterization, it was found that, among pitting, general, and intergranular corrosion, pitting corrosion is the dominant corrosion mechanism. The holes enlarge because pits combine together, representing the greatest portion of mass loss. The main mechanism enhancing corrosion resistance is the size reduction of the grains on the surface induced by ball burnishing, causing a denser distribution of corrosion products in the immersion test. These corrosion products protect the material underneath accelerated corrosion.
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