In this paper, a cathodic electrolytic plasma process (EPP) is introduced as a new corrosion prevention method. It is a green and cost-effective method of metal surface treatment. The EPP procedure and the EPP-treated 1018 steel are described in detail. On EPP treated surfaces, a spontaneous pattern due to localized melting and quenching could be obtained. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize the special surface morphology and chemical patterns on EPP resultant features. Standard corrosion tests were conducted in EPP-treated samples. The corrosion analysis indicates that the EPP treatment could effectively improve the uniform corrosion of 1018 steel in 3.5% NaCl solution. With longer time of EPP treatment (15 minutes), the passivation was significantly extended and hence the localized corrosion resistance is improved. Also, the higher corrosion resistance was found to be sustainable (in 48 hours corrosion test, NaCl solution) on all the EPP treated samples.

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