Lead (Pb) addition to hot-dip galvanizing (HDG) baths affects the physical characteristics of zinc coatings and is also useful to protect kettles. The influence of lead additions on both corrosion rate and morphology as well as on structure of zinc coating is less investigated. In this paper, three different additions, (Pb = 0.4–0.8–1.2 w/w) were chosen for three series of steel substrates, plus references without lead. The three steels chosen as substrates contained silicon (Si) = 0.18, 0.028, 0.225 w/w, respectively. The experimental part included both macro- and micro-electrochemical measurements, weight loss vs. time plots, Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy (GDOS) and SEM/EDX microanalysis of both surface and cross-section of samples. Lead concentration is responsible for evident bimetallic coupling in the surrounding of lead inclusion with consequent increased dissolution rate, chunk effect, and rougher surface morphology.
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