Electrochemical investigation of chromium nanocarbide coated Ti-6Al-4V and Co-Cr-Mo alloy substrates

Viswanathan Swaminathan, Haitong Zeng, Daniel Lawrynowicz, Zongtao Zhang, Jeremy L. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study investigated the electrochemical behavior of chromium nano-carbide cermet coating applied on Ti-6Al-4V and Co-Cr-Mo alloys for potential application as wear and corrosion resistant bearing surfaces. The cermet coating consisted of a highly heterogeneous combination of carbides embedded in a metal matrix. The main factors studied were the effect of substrate (Ti-6Al-4V vs. Co-Cr-Mo), solution conditions (physiological vs. 1 M H 2O 2 of pH 2), time of immersion (1 vs. 24 h) and post coating treatments (passivation and gamma sterilization). The coatings were produced with high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) thermal spray technique at atmospheric conditions to a thickness of 250 μm then ground and polished to a finished thickness of 100 μm and gamma sterilized. Native Ti-6Al-4V and Co-Cr-Mo alloys were used as controls. The corrosion behavior was evaluated using potentiodynamic polarization, mechanical abrasion and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy under physiologically representative test solution conditions (phosphate buffered saline, pH 7.4, 37°C) as well as harsh corrosion environments (pH ∼ 2, 1 M H 2O 2, T = 65°C). Severe environmental conditions were used to assess how susceptible coatings are to conditions that derive from possible crevice-like environments, and the presence of inflammatory species like H 2O 2. SEM analysis was performed on the coating surface and cross-section. The results show that the corrosion current values of the coatings (0.4-4 μA/cm 2) were in a range similar to Co-Cr-Mo alloy. The heterogeneous microstructure of the coating influenced the corrosion performance. It was observed that the coating impedances for all groups decreased significantly in aggressive environments compared with neutral and also dropped over exposure time. The low frequency impedances of coatings were lower than controls. Among the coated samples, passivated nanocarbide coating on Co-Cr-Mo alloy displayed the least corrosion resistance. However, all the coated materials demonstrated higher corrosion resistance to mechanical abrasion compared to the native alloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
JournalElectrochimica Acta
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Biomaterials
  • Chromium carbide
  • Coatings
  • Corrosion
  • EIS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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