Table of Contents
ISRN Corrosion
Volume 2012, Article ID 379697, 10 pages
Research Article

Chemical Stability of Chromium Carbide and Chromium Nitride Powders Compared with Chromium Metal in Synthetic Biological Solutions

Division of Surface and Corrosion Science, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Drottning Kristinas väg 51, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 7 March 2012; Accepted 6 May 2012

Academic Editors: K. N. Allahar, L. Bazzi, and R. Wang

Copyright © 2012 Tao Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chromium carbide (Cr-C) and chromium nitride (Cr-N) powders were compared with a chromium metal powder (Cr-metal) to evaluate their chemical stability in solution. All three powders were exposed in five different synthetic biological solutions of varying pH and chemical composition simulating selected human exposure conditions. Characterisation of the powders, using GI-XRD, revealed that the predominant bulk crystalline phases were Cr7C3 and Cr2N for Cr-C and Cr-N respectively. The outermost surface of Cr-C, determined by XPS, contained Cr7C3 and Cr2O3 and the corresponding measurement on Cr-N revealed Cr2N and CrN apart from Cr2O3. The presence of Cr2O3 was verified by XPS investigations of the Cr-metal powder. The mean particle size was similar for Cr-metal and Cr-N but slightly smaller for Cr-C. All three powders were poorly soluble and released very low amounts of chromium (<0.00015 μg Cr/μg loaded particles) independent on test solution. Slightly higher chromium concentrations were determined in the more acidic media (pH 1.7 and 4.5) compared with the near-neutral solutions (pH 7.2 and 7.4). Cr-C released the lowest amount of Cr despite having the largest surface area a feature attributed to the strong covalent bonds within the matrix.