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Materials Research

Print version ISSN 1516-1439On-line version ISSN 1980-5373

Mat. Res. vol.21 no.6 São Carlos  2018  Epub Oct 29, 2018 


Anticorrosive Effect of PVP 40000 Against AISI 1020 Carbon Steel in HCl

Arthur Valbona 

Marcelo Azevedo Nevesb 

Aurea Echevarriaa  *

aDepartamento de Química, Instituto de Ciências Exatas, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, BR 465, km 07, 23840-000, Seropédica, RJ, Brasil

bDepartamento de Física, Instituto de Ciências Exatas, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, BR 465, km 07, 23840-000, Seropédica, RJ, Brasil


Polymers have received considerable attention for replacing synthetic inorganic and organic anti-corrosion inhibitors since they are not as toxic for the environment, besides being cheaper. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) has been studied due to its applicability, solubility, very low toxicity, cost and efficiency in corrosion inhibition against metals, such as zinc, aluminum, stainless steel, and others. Its anti-corrosion activity with 40000 g mol-1 was tested against AISI 1020 carbon steel in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl, and evaluated by electrochemical techniques: Potentiodynamic Polarization (PP), Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR), and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). The maximum efficiency was 90% and 89% in EIS and LPR, respectively, at concentration of 1.0 x 10-7 mol L-1. The adsorption mechanism was coherent with Langmuir isotherm model. The morphology of the corroding carbon steel surface, in the presence and absence of the PVP, was visualized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).

Keywords: Polyvinylpyrrolidone; Anticorrosive; Potentiodynamic Polarization; Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy; Scanning Electron Microscopy

1. Introduction

Mild steel is widely used in a diversity of industries, such as chemical processing, petroleum production and refining, and marine applications, including the exposure in acidic media for pickling, and in saline media in the case of offshore operations. However, the deterioration of mild steel must be attenuated by various anticorrosive agents, including organic corrosion inhibitors. Organic compounds containing heteroatoms in their structure, such as nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur, are able to act as efficient inhibitors for some metals since they can form protective films on the surface 1-3. The use of polymers in solution as corrosion inhibitors has been widely studied in the last years, due to its low cost and good inhibition efficiency 1-6.

Recently, green corrosion inhibitors have been receiving special attention for the replacement of synthetic inorganic and organic substances with high environmental toxicity, at very expensive cost. Several polymers were investigated years ago, including the polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) due to its easy applicability, solubility, very low toxicity, cost and corrosion inhibition efficiency3. There are many studies involving the corrosion inhibition of several metals in solution, such as zinc, iron, carbon steel and stainless steel.

In 1985, Mostafa et al. described the efficiency of PVP 1000, PVP 24500 and PVP 40000 as corrosion inhibitors of zinc in 1 mol L-1 H2SO4; the inhibition efficiency was 91%, 86% and 84%, respectively, at PVP concentration of 0.1 mol L-17. In 1995, Janguo & Schweinsberg studied PVP 10000 in 7.0 mol L-1 H3PO4 against carbon steel with a maximum efficiency of 89% at 5.0 x 10-5 mol L-1 8. PVP 10000 and PVP 45000 were investigated by Khaled, 2010, in 316L stainless steel in water containing 1 mg L-1 FeCl3 and drops of H2SO4; 42% (1.0x10-2 mol L-1) and 96.7% (5.0x10-3 mol L-1) of corrosion inhibition was observed, respectively 9.

Corrosion inhibition of carbon steel was also studied by Umoren, 2011, who used PVP 44000 (1.0 x 10-4 mol L-1) in 0.5 mol L-1 H2SO4, thus observing inhibition efficiency of 67% 10. Al Juhaiman et al., 2012, reported the anticorrosion efficiency of PVP 8000 in 2.5 x 10-4 mol L-1 against carbon steel in 0.1 mol L-1 NaCl; 44% was the maximum efficiency2. The most recent study about PVP 8000 as an anti-corrosion agent against carbon steel has been done by Al Juhaiman, 2016, in 2 mol L-1 HCl showing a maximum efficiency of 89.5% in 1.0 x 10-3 mol L-14.

Given the great interest in the study of PVP as an anti-corrosion agent, and the lack of information on middle steel in HCl medium, this paper aims to describe the study of PVP 40000 against AISI 1020 carbon steel in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl, using electrochemical techniques, like Potentiodynamic Polarization (PP), Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR) and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). Moreover, the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to investigate anti-corrosion activity.

2. Experimental

2.1 Materials

Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) was purchased from Sigma Aldrich Co., and its molecular weight was 40000 g.mol-1. PVP chemical structure can be observed in Figure 1. Ethanol used as solvent was purchased from Vetec/Sigma-Aldrich (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and hydrochloric acid, from Proquimios Com. & Ind. Ltda. (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

Figure 1 PVP chemical structure. 

Tests were carried out with a conventional electrochemical three-electrode cell, which consists of a platinum auxiliary electrode, a silver-silver chloride (Ag/AgCl, 3.0 mol L-1 KCl) reference electrode, and the AISI 1020 carbon steel used as a working electrode with composition (%wt): C: 0.17, P: 0.04, S: 0.05, Mn: 0.30, and the remainder Fe. The working electrode was prepared with epoxy resin that presented an exposed area of 0.8 cm2. Before each measurement, the working electrode was abrading using three emery papers with different grades: 400, 600 and 1200. After that, it was washed with water and acetone and dried11.

2.2 Blank and PVP solutions

Blank was prepared at 0.5 mol L-1 HCl aqueous solution using Milli-Q water. Five PVP solutions were prepared with different concentrations: 1.0x10-7, 5.0x10-8, 2.5x10-8, 5.0x10-9, 1.0x10-9 mol L-1, in the presence of 0.5 mol L-1 HCl.

2.3 Electrochemical procedure

All experiments were carried out in 40 mL solutions of naturally aerated electrolyte at 25 °C, and all electrochemical measurements were performed using an Autolab Potentiostat/ Galvanostat model PGSTAT 302N, and analyzed using NOVA 1.9 software. The electrochemical measurements were conducted after 1h immersion in experimental solution to attain a stable open circuit potential (OCP). After that, three electrochemical techniques were applied: Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR), and Potentiodynamic Polarization (PP).

2.3.1 Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)

Impedance measurements were performed over a frequency range of 10 kHz - 100 mHz with a 10 mV peak-to-peak amplitude using AC signal. Inhibition efficiency (IE) was calculated using the following equation 12:

IEEIS=RctRct0Rct×100 (1)

where R ct is the charge transfer resistance in the presence of the inhibitor, and R0ct is the charge transfer resistance in its absence. These values were obtained from the electrochemical impedance diagrams.

2.3.2 Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR)

Linear Polarization Resistance experiments were performed using a scan rate of 1 mV s-1 in the potential range of ± 10 mV, around the open circuit potential (E ocp). Inhibition efficiency was calculated using the following equation 12-16:

IELPR=RpRp0Rp×100 (2)

where R p and R0p are the Polarization Resistance in the presence and absence of the inhibitor, respectively. The Polarization Resistance was obtained by the following equation:

Rp=ΔEΔi (3)

These values were determined by the graph of the current (i) vs the potential (E), where R p is the slope of the line.

2.3.3 Potentiodynamic Polarization (PP)

Potentiodynamic anodic and cathodic polarization curves were performed using a scan rate equal to 1 mV s-1, from -200 mV up to +200 mV, around the open circuit potential. Inhibition efficiency was calculated using the following equation 12-16:

IEpp=icorr,0icorricorr,0×100 (4)

where i corr,0 and i corr are the Polarization Resistance in the absence and presence of the inhibitor, respectively.

3. Surface Analysis

3.1 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Carbon steel samples, dimension 4 cm x 4 cm x 0.1 cm, were abraded with 280, 600 and 1200 grade emery paper; washed with water and ethanol; dried and immersed in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl in the absence (Blank) and presence of PVP 40000 for 3 h at room temperature; and, naturally aerated. The specimens were removed, washed with water, ethanol, dried and weighted in analytical balance (SHIMADZU, model ATX224). The measurements were taken using HITACHI TM 3000 Tabletop Microscope16.

4. Results and Discussion

4.1 Open Circuit Potential

The OCP plots can be observed in Fig 2, the OCP values were stabilized after 40 minutes, but OCP was measured until 60 minutes. After the OCP stabilized, the EIS, LPR and PP tests were carreid out against carbon steel AISI 1020 in HCl 0.5 mol L-1 in the presence and absence of PVP.

Figure 2 OCP plots of carbon steel obtained in HCl 0.5 mol L-1 in the presence and absence of PVP. 

4.2 Potentiodynamic Polarization (PP)

Figure 3 presents the Potentiodynamic Polarization curves of carbon steel in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl solutions, with and without PVP 40000, at five concentrations; they determined the values to plot the graphs of log i versus E. At that stage, the Potentiodynamic Polarization technique was used so that the behaviour of the current density, in the presence and absence of the inhibitor, could be observed and the inhibitor type could be characterized.

Figure 3 Polarization curves of carbon steel in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl in the presence and absence of PVP. 

As observed in Figure 3, there is a decrease in the current density (i) when PVP concentration increases in the cathodic region, and more remarkably, in the anodic one; with a great E corr shift in the anodic direction. These results indicate that PVP 40000 acted as a mixed-type inhibitor, which could slow down both the metal dissolution and the cathodic process16. The electrochemical parameters are shown in Table 1.

Table 1 Electrochemical parameters obtained from Tafel plots for carbon steel AISI 1020, in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl in the presence and absence of different PVP concentrations.  

Inhibitor Cinh (mol L-1) Ecorr vs. Ag/AgCl (mV) jcorr (mA cm-2) βa (mV dec-1) cmV dec-1) θ IEPP (%)
Blank - -464 0.165 205 76 - -
PVP 1.0x10-9 -449 0.069 147 47 0.58 58
5.0x10-9 -451 0.061 147 51 0.63 63
2.5x10-8 -424 0.038 160 61 0.77 77
5.0x10-8 -413 0.019 106 51 0.88 88
1.0x10-7 -414 0.018 116 52 0.89 89

4.3 Linear polarization resistance (LPR)

Linear Polarization Resistance to carbon steel in HCl 0.5 mol L-1 were evaluated in the presence and in the absence of PVP 40000. Equation 3 shows the graph of values obtained for the current density (i) versus applied potential (E), which provided the slope of the lines corresponding to R p values by linear regression. Table 2 shows the values of R p and of the anti-corrosion efficiency (IE LPR), thus demonstrating how the slope increases when the inhibitor concentration rises.

Table 2 Electrochemical parameters obtained from LPR measurements for carbon steel, in the presence and the absence of different PVP 40000 concentrations, in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl. 

Inhibitor Cinh (mol L-1) Rp (Ω cm2) θ IELPR (%)
Blank - 190.49 - -
1.0x10-9 452.94 0.5794 58
5.0x10-9 450.00 0.5767 58
PVP 2.5x10-8 815.11 0.7663 77
5.0x10-8 1533.50 0.8758 88
1.0x10-7 1733.00 0.8901 89

4.4 Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)

Figure 4 shows the Nyquist plots related to the measurements made on carbon steel in acid media 0.5 mol L-1 HCl, in the presence and the absence of PVP at different concentrations The fitted curves obtained by the [R(RQ)] circuit can also be observed in the Figure 4. As shown in Figure 4, the semicircle increases along with the concentration, thus resulting in the rise of the inhibition efficiency. This indicates that the corrosion of carbon steel in acidic medium is controlled by a charge-transfer process8.

The intersection of the semicircle and the real axis at high frequencies provides the solution resistance (R s) value, whereas at low frequencies, a charge-transfer resistance (R ct) was found from the difference in impedance at lower and higher frequencies.

Figure 4 Nyquist plots of carbon steel obtained in HCl 0.5 mol L-1, in the blank and in the presence of PVP 40000. 

According to the above results, the EIS data were analyzed using the [R(RQ)] equivalent circuit (Fig. 5) that includes the solution resistance (R s), polarization resistance (R p) and constant phase element (CPE), which can be represented in equation 5 13,14,15:

ZCPE=Y01jwn (5)

where Y 0 is the magnitude of the CPE, n is the phase shift, j is the imaginary unit and w is the angular frequency. The constant phase element, CPE, was introduced in the circuit instead of a pure double layer capacitor to give a more accurate fit16-19.

The double layer capacitances,C dl, for a circuit including a CPE were calculated from the following equation 6 17-20:

Cdl=Y02πfmaxn1 (6)

where Y 0 is the magnitude of the CPE, f max is the frequency at which the imaginary component of the impedance is maximal 17-20.

The increase of R ct and the decrease of C dl indicates that PVP inhibits the corrosion rate of carbon steel by adsorption mechanisms 19. The equivalent circuit fit (Figure 5) was obtained by EIS spectra.

Figure 5 Equivalent circuit model used to fit EIS experimental data, in the presence and the absence of PVP. 

Bode plots for carbon steel in acidic medium with and without PVP are shown in Figure 6. At low frequencies, Z mod is a metric that can be used to compare the corrosion resistance at different concentrations of inhibitor, and its increase contributes to a better inhibitory performance 16,19.

Figure 6 Bode plots of carbon steel obtained in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl, in the presence and the absence of PVP. 

Table 3 shows the values of corrosion inhibition efficiency (IE EIS), resistance of charge-transfer (R ct), inhibitor surface coverage (Ө) and double layer capacitance (C dl).

Table 3 Electrochemical Impedance data for carbon steel in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl, at different PVP concentrations. 

Inhibitors Cinh (mol L-1) OCP/ Ag/AgCl (mV) Rct (Ω cm2) n Y0 (µMho cm-2) fmax (Hz) Cdl (µ F cm-2) θ IEEIS (%)
Blank - -460 120.65 0.776 221 13.89 81.21 - -
1.0x10-9 -463 304.24 0.819 143 5.42 75.49 0.6034 60
5.0x10-9 -459 353.93 0.807 150 4.29 79.42 0.6591 66
PVP 2.5x10-8 -444 378.95 0.778 175 5.42 79.97 0.6816 68
5.0x10-8 -423 999.08 0.777 126 1.67 74.54 0.8792 88
1.0x10-7 -422 1156.46 0.781 93 1.67 55.54 0.8957 90

In Table 3, it is noteworthy that the efficiency increases when the PVP concentration rises. An efficiency of 90% was observed at the concentration of 1.0 x 10-7 mol L-1 by EIS. The lowest C dl value is observed at the maximum concentration of PVP; this can be associated with a better adsorption of the inhibitor in metallic surface, thus leading to the decrease of the electric double layer.

It is important to highlight that n LPR values obtained from LPR presented correlation with the values obtained by the EIS measurement (IE EIS), in which the efficiency increase was observed along with the increase of PVP concentration, 89% and 90% at 1.0x10-7 mol L-1 for IE EIS and IE LPR, respectively.

4.5 Adsorption isotherm

PVP adsorption mechanism over a metal surface was investigated, and the most frequent one was modelled by Langmuir equation (7) 11,16,19. Figure 7 shows the plot for Langmuir isotherm model.

Cinhθ=1Kads+Cinh (7)

where C inh is the inhibitor concentration, θ is the degree of surface coverage and K ads is the adsorption equilibrium constant. The standard free energy of adsorption (Δ G(0ads 0ads) was calculated by equation 8 11.

ΔGads0=RTln55.55Kads (8)

where R is the universal gas constant (8.31 J K-1 mol-1), T is the temperature (K), and 55.55 is the molar concentration (mol L -1) of water in the solution.

Figure 7 Langmuir isotherm plot for the adsorption of PVP on carbon steel surface in HCl 0.5 mol L-1

The thermodynamic parameters obtained in this study indicated K ads = 2.32 x 10+9 L mol-1 and ΔG0ads = -59.18 kJ mol-1. The slope (1.09) and the linear correlation coefficient (0.9993) were close to one, thus characterizing the Langmuir isotherm model 11,16,21-24.

The negative value of free energy of adsorption revealed the spontaneity of its process; also, the higher the adsorption equilibrium constant, the more stable the adsorbed layer on the steel surface. The Langmuir isotherm describes that each inhibitor molecule is adsorbed on a distinct steel surface site; therefore, an adsorbed water molecule is replaced by an organic molecule on the steel surface. The adsorption of organic molecules occurs as a monolayer over the metallic surface without any interaction with other adsorbed molecules 18,19.

4.6 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Results obtained using the Scanning Electron Microscopy for carbon steel samples after immersion of 3 h in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl, in the presence and the absence (Blank) of PVP 40000 (at the concentration of 1.0x10-7 mol L-1), can be observed in Figure 8.

Figure 8 SEM micrograph (2000x) of carbon steel immersed in 0.5 mol L -1 HCl, in the absence (Blank) and the presence of 1.0x10-7 mol L-1 PVP. 

The formation of pitting corrosion was clearly observed on the carbon steel surface in both cases, probably due to the presence of chloride ions 12. However, pitting corrosion was attenuated in the presence of PVP, which might be related to the adsorption of the organic inhibitor on the surface that blocks the metal sites, thus avoiding chloride adsorption, and consequently, inhibiting pitting corrosion formation 16,24.

4.7 Comparison with literature data

The results of PVP 40000 inhibition efficiency obtained in this study were confronted with data-related literature to verify their relevance. Literature data were compiled and can be seen in Table 4.

Table 4 Experimental data of inhibition efficiency, corrosive medium, concentration, metal-type and technique reported in literature about the PVP polymer. 

PVP Corrosive Agent Cinh (mol L-1) Alloy Technique IE (%) Reference
PVP 8000 0.1 mol L-1 NaCl 2.5x10-4 Carbon steel EIS PP 36.5 44.0 2
PVP 8000 2 mol L-1 HCl 1.0x10-3 Carbon steel EIS PP 86.5 89.5 4
PVP 10000 7 mol L-1 H3PO4 5.0x10-5 Carbon steel Mass loss 89.0 8
PVP 10000 Water + 1mg L-1 FeCl3 + drops of H2SO4 and 1.0x10-2 316L Stainless steel PP 42.7 9
PVP 45000 Water + 1mg L-1 FeCl3 + drops of H2SO4 1.0x10-2 316L Stainless steel PP 96.9 9
PVP 44000 0.5 mol L-1 H2SO4 1.0x10-4 Carbon steel Mass loss 67.0 10
PVP 40000 0.5 mol L-1 HCl 1.0x10-7 AISI 1020 Carbon steel EIS LRP PP 90.0 89.0 89.0 This study

The maximum inhibition efficiency value obtained in this work was 90%, by EIS, using 1.0x10-7 mol L-1 PVP 40000 in 0.5 mol L-1 HCl. No studies with PVP 40000 had been found in literature before; however, it is noticeable that at small concentration, PVP 40000 shows higher inhibition efficiency when compared with the ones reported in literature even though they are under distinct conditions 2,4,8,10.

5. Conclusion

PVP 40000 acted as a good corrosion inhibitor of AISI 1020 carbon steel in HCl 0.5 mol L-1, showing maximum efficiencies of 90% and 89% at low concentration (1.0x10-7 mol L-1), measured by LPR and EIS, respectively. A semicircle increase was observed in Nyquist plots when the inhibitor concentration rises. PP curves showed that PVP 40000 can be classified as a mixed inhibitor shifting to the anodic region. The adsorption on metal surface was in accordance with the Langmuir adsorption isotherm.

6. Acknowledgements

The authors are very grateful to CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) and Petrobras (Petróleo Brasileiro S. A.), as well as to P&D ANEEL-SUPERCABO project, for financial support.

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Received: September 22, 2017; Revised: March 07, 2018; Accepted: June 28, 2018

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