Investigating local corrosion processes of magnesium alloys with scanning probe electrochemical techniques: A review.
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The study of corrosion of magnesium and its alloys has emerged a hot topic in the applications of lightweight structural materials. The inherently high electrochemical activity of bare magnesium surfaces still lacks a convincing mechanism to describe the observed experimental characteristics, and it has prompted the development of various types of protective coatings with the aim of slowing metal dissolution. In recent years, new instruments and techniques have been developed to study with spatial resolution the local corrosion processes that occur in metallic materials in general, and for magnesium and its alloys in particular, both for bare surfaces and coated. Scanning microelectrochemical techniques, such as local electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (LEIS), scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), scanning vibrating electrode technique (SVET), scanning ion-selective electrode technique (SIET) and scanning Kelvin probe (SKP) can provide information about the local electrochemical activity of metallic surfaces. In the present work, the applications of these techniques in corrosion studies of magnesium and its alloys are reviewed. Assessment of corrosion mechanisms, barrier properties of conventional coatings and active corrosion behavior of self-healing coatings are examined. Limitations and future developments in this area are discussed.