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Corrosion behavior of Cu and the Cu-Zn-Al shape memory alloy in simulated uterine fluid.

ABSTRACT

Chemical immersion tests, electrochemical methods and atomic absorption spectrometry were employed to investigate the corrosion behavior of Cu and the Cu-Zn-Al shape memory alloy (SMA) in simulated uterine fluid. The effect of pH on corrosion rate and corrosion potential was also investigated. The results indicated that in the static state in simulated uterine fluid, dealuminumification of the Cu-Zn-Al alloy occurred with Cl- combining with aluminum ions to form hydroxyl aluminum chloride. The hydroxyl aluminum chloride hydrolyzed readily and facilitated further dealuminumification corrosion. The corrosion process of Cu and Cu-Zn-Al SMA in simulated uterine fluid was controlled by cathodic reduction of oxygen. Because the tendency for surface ionization is greater for aluminum than for zinc, a compact protective aluminum layer was formed, which inhibited the cathodic reduction of oxygen. Hence, the corrosion rate of Cu-Zn-Al SMA was smaller than that of Cu in simulated uterine fluid. With increasing pH, the corrosion rate of Cu and Cu-Zn-Al SMA in simulated uterine fluid decreased and the open-circuit potential moved in a positive direction.