All You Need to Know About Corrosion

corrosion of metals

What’s considered as a chemical or electrochemical destructive phenomenon is corrosion. It is the result of the reaction of the surrounding environment attacking any metal or alloy. It can cause structural failure as such a process deteriorates materials. It’s a natural tendency of metals coming to their natural state.

There are conditions necessary for corrosion to occur and here are as follows.

Metal anode. There must be something that corrodes.

Cathode. A cathode must be present.

Liquid path. There must be a continuous conductive electrolyte, be it a condensate, salt, or other contaminants.

Conductor. A conductor must exist to carry the flow of electrons from the anode to the cathode.

The existence of these four is a must for the electrochemical process to make progress. However, eliminating one of them can prevent corrosion of metals from occurring.

The nature of materials

One of the fundamental factors that determine the susceptibility of a material to corrosion is its nature. What usually happens in selecting materials is that structural efficiency is first preferred over corrosion resistance, especially in design.

Water intrusion

In the field of equipment, water intrusion is a principal cause of corrosion. Some of the enclosures from where water can enter are capillary action, condensation, and free entry. It is certain that any enclosure will be vulnerable to water intrusion as long as there are the three modes of water entry acting and the subsequent confinement of water.

Environmental factors

It’s a fact that the environment can also cause corrosion to some metals due to the moisture and normal atmospheric temperature. In ambient temperatures, oxygen in water is essential to begin the action of corrosion. Here are other environmental factors that can cause metals to corrode.

Biological organisms. The presence of anaerobic bacteria.

Composition. The variation in the structure of the corrosive medium.

pH factors. The alkalinity or acidity of the conductive medium.

Stability. The ability of corrosion products to be stable.

Temperature. The degree or intensity of heat present in the environment.

Other factors that influence corrosion

The extent and nature of corrosion depend on the environment and the metal. Below are the factors that influence the action of corrosion of metals.

Aeration. It is the unit process in which water and air are brought into contact intimately.

Agitation. It is the action of disturbing or briskly stirring the liquid.

Electrolyte. The concentration of electrolytes.

Nature. This includes the nature of the environment, the metal, and the corrosion products.

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