The corrosion behavior of cemented carbides with binders of different chemical nature (Co and Ni) and carbides with distinct mean grain size (ultrafine and coarse) was studied. The investigation also included corrosion media (acidic and neutral solutions containing chlorides and an alkaline solution) as experimental variables. Immersion tests were performed to induce corrosion damage in a controlled way. Electrochemical parameters were measured together with a detailed inspection of the corroded surfaces. Microstructural influence on the tolerance to corrosion damage was evaluated in terms of residual strength. Results pointed out that corrosion rates were lower in the alkaline solution. In contrast, acidic media led to higher corrosion rates, especially for cemented carbides with Co regardless the influence of carbide mean grain size. Corrosion damage resulted in strength degradation due to the formation of surface corrosion pits in acidic solution. In neutral and alkaline solutions, much less pronounced effects were determined. Focused Ion Beam (FIB)/ Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) results revealed differences in corrosion-induced damage scenario. In acidic solution, corrosion starts at binder pool centers and evolves towards binder/WC interfaces. Meanwhile, corrosion in alkaline solution is initially located at binder/WC interfaces, and subsequently expands into the ceramic particles, developing a microcrack network inside this phase.
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