Galvanic coupling effects on the corrosion behavior of the 6061 aluminum alloy used in research nuclear reactors
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The 6061 alloy is used in different thermomechanical conditions in research nuclear reactors. Nuclear fuel plates are manufactured by the picture frame technique (PFT) and the 6061 alloy is used as cladding for the nuclear fuel “sandwiches”. After the process, these nuclear plates are placed in a case composed of 6061-T6 alloy. In this work, the galvanic effects of coupling the 6061 alloy in the T6 and PFT conditions on the corrosion behavior was investigated in solutions of different chloride contents. The results showed that galvanic corrosion was favored due to the different microstructural features related to these two thermomechanical conditions of the 6061 alloy. The 6061 alloy in the PFT condition was cathodic to the alloy in the T6 condition. Local electrochemical techniques were useful in characterizing the electrochemical behavior of the coupled alloys.