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Microbial colonization of metal surfaces or adhesion of bacteria on metal surfaces is a crucial step in initiating microbiologically influenced corrosion. As the substrate is essential in the development of a biofilm, an understanding of how substrate properties affect adhesion of bacterial cells, including the mechanism of bacterial adhesion, may assist in designing or modifying substrates to inhibit bacterial adhesion and prevent the corrosion of materials. A study was carried out to investigate the effect of nickel on the adhesion and corrosion ability of stainless steels with the same chromium content in nutrient-rich simulated seawater containing Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These stainless steels were 201, 316, 304 and 430 stainless steels. In addition, a carbon steel sample with fully nickel coated was included for comparison. The hydrophobicity of different materials was evaluated by measuring the contact angles made by the water, glycerol and formaldehyde. The number of bacteria adhering to the material surface after short-term immersion was counted by fluorescence microscopy. For corrosion study, the corrosion rates and pitting morphology were studied after 42 days of immersion. The corrosion behavior of the samples was also observed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). It was found that the nickel-coated sample had the highest level of bacteria attachment and offered poor corrosion resistance under artificial seawater with Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain. Higher nickel content in stainless steel resulted in a higher level of bacteria attachment. It was found that stainless steel with molybdenum exhibited better corrosion resistance in artificial seawater containing bacteria.
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