Electrochemical behaviour of 22MnB5 steel coated with hot-dip Al-Si before and after hot-stamping process investigated by means of scanning Kelvin probe microscopy
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Press-hardened steels are commonly protected with hot-dip Al-Si coating. Due to the electrochemical complexity of this system, either before or after hot-stamping process, SKPFM was used to investigate the influence of the thermo-mechanical process on the electrochemical behaviour of the galvanic coupling. The hot-stamping process changed significantly the anodic/cathodic coupling of the coating/steel due to iron enrichment in the coating layer. Hence, a concurrent mechanism was thoroughly established, i.e., while the press hardening enhances the corrosion properties of the steel system (steel and metallic coating) through diffusion, at the same time it diminishes the cathodic protection of the Al-Si layer.