The dissolution behaviour of two alkali borosilicate glasses has been investigated at 90°C in the presence of potential corrosion inhibitors. The added materials were selected on the basis of surface chemistry considerations: Since the dissolution rate of silicate solid phases in alkaline solutions increases with growing negative surface charge, it should be expected that sorbing cations reduce the reaction rates. Due to the formation of insoluble hydroxides and silicates and to the dominance of neutral or negatively charged hydroxo complexes in the pH range of interest, the selection of potential inhibitors is very restricted.
The precipitated hydroxides of Al, Zn, Cd and Pb were chosen as the solid phases. Compared with the experiments in pure water, glass dissolution is enhanced in presence of Al(OH)3 and Zn(OH)2. The concentration of the aqua ions is too low for an inhibiting effect. Sorption of silicic acid on the hydroxide accelerates the glass dissolution. Addition of PbO had a strong inhibiting effect in a 28 days experiment. At longer times an insoluble lead silicate is formed and thereby the glass dissolution rate is increased. Cd on the other hand is still effective as an inhibitor after 365 days.
Based on the present results, the possibility of using glass corrosion inhibitors in a repository is considered not to be worthwhile.