What is Corrosion

By: doyouknow | Views: 3091 | Date: 05-Jan-2012

Corrosion can be defined as the destructive attack of a metal through interaction with its environment.

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion can be defined as the destructive attack of a metal through interaction with its environment.


In order to answer the question what is Corrosion? Is necessary to understand how corrosion works and why metals are affected by corrosion.

Most metals used in the construction, steel, stainless steel grades, copper, are subject to corrosion. This is due to the high energy content of the elements in metallic form.

In nature, most metals are found in chemical combination with other elements; these metallic ores are refined by man and formed into metals and alloys.

As the energy content of the metals and alloys is higher than that of their ores, chemical re-combination of the metals to form ore like compounds, corrosion proves, is a natural process.


Corrosion of metals takes place through the action of electrochemical cells. Although this single mechanism is responsible, the corrosion can take many forms.

Through an understanding of the electrochemical cell and how it can act to cause the various forms of corrosion, the natural tendency of metals to corrode can be overcome and equipment that is resistant to failure by corrosion can be designed.

The Electrochemical Cell:

As in all chemical reactions, corrosion reactions occur through an exchange of electrons.
In electrochemical reactions, the electrons are produced by a chemical reaction in one area, the anode area, travel through a metallic path and are consumed through a different chemical reaction in another area, the cathode.

Although there is only one fundamental mechanism of corrosion, the electrochemical cell, there are several Corrosion forms or Corrosion Types that can occur. Each form of attack has a specific arrangement of anodes and cathodes and the corrosion which occurs has a specific location and pattern. Each form of corrosion can be effectively controlled during design if it is anticipated. By understanding the various forms of corrosion, the conditions under which they occur, and how they are quantified, they can each be addressed and controlled. The most important Types of Corrosion are:

• Uniform Corrosion                                              

• Concentration Cell Corrosion.

• Intergranular Corrosion

• Atmospheric Corrosion

• Erosion Corrosion

• Fretting Corrosion

• Dealloiyng

• Formicary Corrosion

• Microbiological Corrosion - MIC

• Galvanic Corrosion or Bimetallic Corrosion

• Pitting Corrosion - Crevice Corrosion

• Stress Corrosion Cracking

• Cavitation Corrosion

• Hydrogen Embrittlement

• Iimmunity

• Corrosion Fatigue

• Please find details of each and individual types of Corrosion & it’s mechanism in other articles.


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