Inhibition efficiency of sodium salts of carboxylic acids on corrosion of lead in archive environment

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Lead in archive environment suffers from severe corrosion attack caused by the organic acids’ vapours usually presented in such an environment. One of possible ways of corrosion protection of lead is its surface treatment by solutions of sodium salts of monocarboxylic acids (general formula CH3(CH2)n-2COONa, noted NaCn, n = 10, 11, 12). The principle of this corrosion protection is a creation of conversion coating on the lead’s surface, which decreases corrosion rate of lead in the atmospheric environment polluted by organic acids’ vapour. Our research aims at the selection of a suitable protection system that would be applicable to conservation of historical lead in archives and museums. This paper evaluates the corrosion behaviour of treated lead based on the values of polarisation resistance and shape of potentiodynamic curves in simulated corrosive environment (0.01 mol l−1 solution of acetic acid). The lead samples with different state of surface (pure, corroded and electrochemically cleaned) were treated with sodium salts of monocarboxylic acids NaCn (n = 10, 11, 12) having concentration of 0.01 and 0.05 mol l−1. In simulated corrosive atmosphere (above 0.001 mol l−1 acetic acid solution vapours), corrosion rate was measured by means of electrical resistance technique. The inhibition efficiency of monocarboxylic acids is dependent on their carbon chain length and their concentration. The greatest inhibiting efficiency in corrosive atmospheres and for all lead samples was observed for the sodium salt of dodecanoic acid having concentration of 0.05 mol l−1. Artificially created corrosion products and salt coatings were analysed by X-ray diffraction analysis and their surface morphology was observed by scanning electron microscopy. A protective salt coatings are mainly composed of metallic soaps in dimer form.

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