Gamma phases in Cu-Al alloys and the influence of a square shaped phase in the electrochemical behavior of a Cu-13.6wt% Al alloy
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The electrochemical behavior of Cu-xAl alloys, with 11 wt%less than or equal to x less than or equal to 15wt%, in 0.5 M H2SO4 was studied by means of open-circuit potential decay measurements, quasi-stationary and fast cyclic voltammetry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Some of the alloys (x less than or equal to 14%), when quenched formed martensitic structures. Alloys with greater than or equal to 13% showed a little square-shaped phase when quenched from temperatures around 800 degrees C. It was observed that in sulfuric medium, these formations were dealuminized differently than the martensitic phase. The values of the rest potentials are more influenced by the heat treatment rather than by the alloy composition. An anodic Tafel slope of ca. 60 mV/decade was observed for all the alloys, independently of the heat treatment. This is explained in terms of a competition between two processes: copper oxidation and copper(I) deproportionation. In the cyclic voltammetric experiments it was observed an anodic current peak, related with copper oxidation with a possible formation of some interfacial species, and a cathodic current peak during the reverse potential scan, associated with the reduction of soluble species and/or of the film. The AC Impedance data were interpreted in terms of electric equivalent circuits.