The effect of surface strain on the passive film evolution of SAF 2507 super duplex stainless steel exposed to ambient air and 0.1 M NaCl solution with varying anodic polarization at room temperature has been investigated using in-situ grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD) in combination with electrochemical measurements. Surface strain affected the crystallinity of the passive film as such that the surface oxides/hydroxides were predominantly amorphous, with some minor crystalline CrOOH and FeOOH present in the film. Crystalline CrOOH was seen to diminish in volume upon immersion in the NaCl solution, well-possibly becoming amorphous during anodic polarization, whereas crystalline FeOOH was seen to increase in volume during polarization to the passive potential regime. Strain relaxation, associated with metal dissolution, occurred in both austenitic and ferritic grains during immersion in the electrolyte. Anodic polarization to the transpassive regime led to maximum strain relaxation, occurring more on the austenite than the ferrite. The selective transpassive dissolution nature of the ferrite was significantly reduced due to large strains in the austenite. Passive film breakdown was reflected by enhanced dissolution of Fe, Cr, Mo and Ni occurring simultaneously around 1300 mV vs. Ag/AgCl. (C) The Author(s) 2019. Published by ECS.