Detailed information on corrosion processes provides the key to effective prediction and minimization of corrosion damage. The initiation stage of material decomposition plays a special role, since the corrosion starts mainly on weakest locations, such as surface defects, grain boundaries, segregations or inclusions. However, surface analysis or electrochemical methods commonly used in corrosion research can not present local element-specific and online in situ information at the same time. As a solution, a novel analytical technique based on a micro-capillary set-up connected to ICP-MS has been proposed for time- and element-resolved in situ investigation of corrosion processes in various metallic and non-metallic systems. Aspects in set-up construction and improvement as well as analytical optimization are discussed in details. The novel analytical technique is applied to investigations of micro-corrosion processes of selected Al alloys. The technique is validated by comparison to surface analysis scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX).
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