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Cyclic corrosion testing

Key words: ASTM-B117; Cyclic Corrosion Tester; Salt Spray Test Machine; Salt Spray Tester; Salt Spray Test Chamber; Salt spray test equipment; Salt Fog Chambers; Sal Fog Test Chamber ; Salt Fog Corrosion Test Chamber; Climatic Test Cabinets
Cyclic Corrosion Testing (CCT) has evolved in recent years, largely within the automotive industry, as a way of accelerating real-world corrosion failures, under laboratory controlled conditions. As the name implies, the test comprises different climates which are cycled automatically so the samples under test undergo the same sort of changing the environment that would be encountered in the natural world. The intention is to bring about the type of failure that might occur naturally, but more quickly i.e. accelerated. By doing this manufacturers and suppliers can predict, more accurately, the service life expectancy of their products.

Until the development of Cyclic Corrosion Testing, the traditional Salt spray test was virtually all that manufacturers could use for this purpose. However, this test was never intended for this purpose. Because the test conditions specified for salt spray testing are not typical of a naturally occurring environment, this type of test cannot be used as a reliable means of predicting the ‘real world’ service life expectancy for the samples under test. The sole purpose of the salt spray test is to compare and contrast results with previous experience to perform a quality audit. So, for example, a spray test can be used to ‘police’ a production process and forewarn of potential manufacturing problems or defects, which might affect corrosion resistance.

To recreate these different environments within an environmental chamber requires much more flexible testing procedures that are available in a standard salt spray chamber.

The lack of correlation between results obtained from traditional salt spray testing and the ‘real world’ atmospheric corrosion of vehicles, left the automotive industry without a reliable test method for predicting the service life expectancy of their products. This was and remains of particular concern in an industry where anti-corrosion warranties have been gradually increasing and now run to several years for new vehicles.

With ever increasing consumer pressure for improved vehicle corrosion resistance and a few ‘high profile’ corrosion failures amongst some vehicle manufactures – with disastrous commercial consequences, the automotive industry recognized the need for a different type of corrosion test.

Such a test would need to simulate the types of conditions a vehicle might encounter naturally, but recreate and accelerate these conditions, with good repeatability, within the convenience of the laboratory. CCT is effective for evaluating a variety of corrosion types, including galvanic corrosion and crevice corrosion.

Tests Standards

The below list is not exhaustive, but here are some examples of popular cyclic corrosion test standards:
ACT 1 (Volvo)
ACT 2 (Volvo)
CETP 00.00-L-467 (Ford)
D17 2028 (Renault)
JASO M 609
SAE J 2334[4]
VDA 621-415

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