Effect of pearlite on stress corrosion cracking of carbon steel in fuel-grade ethanol

Janne Torkkeli*, Tapio Saukkonen, Hannu Hänninen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The selective dissolution of ferrite phase from the pearlite was studied in fuel-grade ethanol (FGE) to understand how it affects the stress corrosion cracking (SCC) mechanism of carbon steel in FGE. It was shown that microgalvanic coupling occurs between ferrite and cementite phases of the pearlite, leading to localized corrosion, which affects the SCC mechanism. The intergranular SCC mechanism stops at the pearlite, and the selective dissolution promotes the transgranular SCC mechanism. Cathodic polarization curves were measured for pure iron and cementite exposed to various FGE conditions. According to the results, cementite phase is, in most cases, a more favorable cathode in FGE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-293
JournalCorrosion Reviews
Issue number3
Early online date9 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • carbon steel
  • fuel-grade ethanol
  • pearlite
  • selective dissolution
  • stress corrosion cracking


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