Adsorption of Water on Copper, Nickel, and Iron

S. Lee, R. W. Staehle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


In atmospheric corrosion of copper, nickel, and iron, adsorption of water affects corrosion rates. Knowledge of water adsorption and metal oxyhydroxide formation is important in understanding the atmospheric corrosion process. The quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) technique was used to measure mass changes of copper, nickel, and iron at 0% to 100% relative humidity (RH) and 7°C to 90°C under nitrogen (N2) and air environments. Less water was adsorbed on copper, nickel, and iron that formed oxides than on gold. The amount of water adsorption was similar on copper, nickel, and iron under N2 and air carrier gases. Shapes of isotherms suggested physical adsorption, capillary condensation, and pore filling occurred on all metals and were more significant at higher temperatures. Adsorption isotherms were Type III and Type IV according to the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalCorrosion (Houston)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


  • Adsorption
  • Atmospheric corrosion
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Nickel
  • Quartz-crystal microbalance technique
  • Relative humidity
  • Water adlayer electrolyte


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