Surface passivation is a promising technique for improving the corrosion resistance both in vitro and in vivo as well as the biocompatibility of 316L stainless steel. In this work, we studied the effect of different passivative processes on the in vitro corrosion resistance of 316L stainless steel wire. Characterization techniques such as anodic polarization test, scanning electron microscopy, auger electron spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy were employed to co-relate the corrosion behavior to various surface characteristics and surface treatments. Results showed that all of these surface treatments did not improve the corrosion resistance of the alloy satisfactorily except amorphous oxidation. This improvement is attributed to the removal of plastically deformed native air-formed oxide layer and the replacement of a newly grown, more uniform and compact one which is composed of nano-scale oxide particles with higher oxygen and chromium concentrations. The properties of surface oxide layer, rather than its thickness, seem to be the predominant factor to explain the improvement of in vitro corrosion resistance.
- Amorphous oxide
- Auger electron spectroscopy (AES)
- Scanning and transmission electron microscopy
- Stainless steel
- X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)