Walter W. Smeltzer Corrosion Laboratory


Room:   JHE-A202
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 21521



The laboratory (i) provides experimental research facilities for faculty, research associates and graduate students, (ii) functions as a vehicle for the promotion of corrosion knowledge among university, industry and government, and (iii) provides a service to industry in corrosion assessment and the examination and testing of corrosion-related problems.


Corrosion research at McMaster University has a long history. An international reputation for excellence in the field was established through the high temperature corrosion research directed by Walter W. Smeltzer, beginning in 1959, and the aqueous corrosion research directed by M. Brian Ives, beginning in 1961.

Walter W. Smeltzer (1924-2000)



Research Interests:

  • Oxidation properties of Fe-, Ni- and Zr-based alloys
  • Sulphidation properties of Fe- and Ni-based alloys
  • Thermodynamics of binary alloys and oxygen
  • Internal oxidation properties of ternary alloys
  • Reactant transport properties in oxide films and scales

M. Brian Ives (1934-2008)

Brian Ives


Research Interests:

  • Localized corrosion of metals and alloys
  • Pitting and crevice corrosion of stainless steels
  • Role of alloying elements in localized corrosion susceptibility
  • Surface treatments for improving crevice corrosion resistance
  • Fundamental studies of transport during localized corrosion
  • Materials for concentrated sulphuric acid production


The Corrosion Laboratory was formerly established as a research centre at McMaster University by Ives and the (Brockhouse) Institute for Materials Research in 1987. In 1994, the laboratory was renamed as the Walter W. Smeltzer Corrosion Laboratory by McMaster University in honor of Smeltzer’s significant contributions to the university and the international corrosion research community.

Official Renaming Ceremony

Renaming Group

Left to Right: Mike Graham (NRC-IMS), Walt Smeltzer, Ron Childs (McMaster)
Brian Ives (McMaster) and John Stringer (EPRI)

Laboratory Facilities


Aqueous Lab


  • Aqueous Laboratory
  • Concentrated Acid Laboratory

Model 370 Scanning Electrochemical Workstation



  • Scanning Kelvin Probe (SKP)
  • Scanning Vibrating Electrode (SVP)
  • Localized Impedance Spectroscopy (LEIS)
  • Scanning Droplet System (SDS)
  • Non-Contact Surface Profiling (OSP)

Ascott CCT450 (Cyclic Corrosion Test Chamber)


Testing Standards:

  • ASTM B117
  • ASTM G85 (Annex A1, A2, A3 & A5)
  • GM9540P
  • SAE J2334












  • Corrosion Potential  Measurement
  • Potentiodynamic /Galvanodynamic Polarization
  • Potentiostatic/Galvanostatic Polarization
  • Linear Polarization Resistance
  • Galvanic Current Measurements
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy



  • PowerCORRÒ
  • Scribner ZPlotÒ/CorrWareÒ


Gamry Reference 600


12528W Solatron Mid-Frequency System


EG&G PAR Model 273 (Two)

Pine Model AFMSRX Rotator



  • Rotating Cylinder Electrode
  • Rotating Disk Electrode

Electrochemical Polarization Cells


  • Conventional  Cells (250 mL to 4000 mL)
  • Gamry Paracell™ (400 mL)
  • Cortest Proof Ring

Alternative Exposure Testing Cell


  • Stepping Motor-Controlled Cycling
  • 70 L Solution Capacity
  • ASTM G44 Exposure



Analytical Equipment


  • Cole Parmer Accumet AB15 pH Meter
  • Nusonic Model 6080 Concentration Analyzer
  • Mettler Analytical Balance (160g Capacity)
  • Mettler PM1200 Digital Balance
  • Baush & Lomb Spectronic 88 Spectrophotometer



Corrosion Reference Library


  • Textbooks
  • Monographs
  • Reference Books
  • Testing  Standards
  • Conference Proceedings

McMaster University Facilities

Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy


  • High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Analytical Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Conventional Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Focused Ion Beam
  • Confocal Microscopy
  • Metallographic Light Microscopy
  • Digital Image Analysis System

Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research


  • Differential Thermal Analysis
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis
  •  X-ray Powder Diffraction
  • X-ray Fluorescence
  • Laser Raman Spectroscopy
  • Materials Synthesis Laboratory

Department of Materials Science & Engineering


  • Complete Metallographic Laboratory
  • Glow Discharge Optical Spectroscopy
  • Mechanical Property Testing Laboratory

Laboratory Alumni

Lab Group 1981

Lab Group 1987

Ives Group 1981.jpg

Ives Group 1987.jpg

Left to Right:  Ives, Scepanovic, Heimann,
Zaya, Moriya

Left to Right: Guo, Srivastava, Ives, Luo,
Hodgson, Rodda

Lab Group 1989

Lab Group 1996

Ives Group 1989.jpg

Ives Group 1996.jpg

Left to Right: Turi, Ives, Lu, Luo

Left to Right: Rodda, Hu, Zdero, Virtanen,
Ives, Wood, Worrel, Kish

Lab Group 2001

Lab Group 2010

Ives Group 2001.jpg


Left to Right: Li, Ives, Zdero, Rodda, Draou , Macdonald

Left to Right: Krishnan, Kish, Pal, Kamal, Taheri, Dabrowski, Jones, Phillips, Thuss, Hu