Coupling of surface energy with electric potential makes superhydrophobic surfaces corrosion-resistant
We study the correlation of wetting properties and corrosion rates on hydrophobized cast iron. Samples of different surface roughnesses (abraded by sandpaper) are studied without coating and with two types of hydrophobic coatings (stearic acid and a liquid repelling spray). The contact angles and contact angle hysteresis are measured using a goniometer while corrosion rates are measured by a potentiodynamic polarization test. The data show a decrease in corrosion current density and an increase in corrosion potential after superhydrophobization. A similar trend is also found in the recent literature data. We conclude that a decrease in the corrosion rate can be attributed to the changing open circuit potential of a coated surface and increased surface area making the non-homogeneous (Cassie–Baxter) state possible. We interpret these results in light of the idea that the inherent surface energy is coupled with the electric potential in accordance with the Lippmann law of electrowetting and Le Châtelier's principle and, therefore, hydrophobization leads to a decrease in the corrosion potential. This approach can be used for novel anti-corrosive coatings.