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How to Prevent Corrosion

1/2/2013 6:11:44 PM | by Anonymous

Corrosion Control

Corrosion is a process wherein important properties of a material are exposed to some elements producing rust. Rust causes material to deteriorate leaving a brownish and porous texture on its surface until everything is consumed and nothing is left. In order to prevent a material from destruction, corrosion control must be employed. Rust is iron oxide composed of two iron atoms and three oxygen atoms. There are three factors responsible in the production of rust. First is the anode which is a piece of metal that releases electrons. Next are cathodes that will accept the released electron and electrolytes which are liquids that assist the movement of electrons. The anode metal rusts as electrons move from the anode to the cathode. In simpler terms, rusts are formed in a material when its electron flows due to water and oxygen. This can be best described through a rusting roof because of exposure to rain and wind. Constant exposure to environmental elements will remove the solid form of the roof and would not be able to serve its purpose. This is the reason why industries perform corrosion control to their products to lengthen their product’s life span.

 

There are various ways than can be done to prevent materials especially metals from rusting. First is to choose a corrosion resistant metal as the material itself can somehow give an assurance that a product will last long. However, picking a material is not possible in all instances as some requires the use of a certain material like in the production of boats. Since they run in water, their materials are prone to corrosion. As mentioned earlier, water is one of the elements that cause corrosion which means vessels are submerged to too corrosive environment. Fresh and salt water produce two different corroding effects on boats. In order to prevent them from rusting, they require a galvanic anode or sacrificial anode that will receive the corroding effect first. Sacrificial anode is composed of a metal alloy wherein electrochemical potential is more than the metal making up the structure. It helps in protecting expensive metals used in ships and boats from rusting by being corroded first, thus the rise of the term sacrificial anode. This anode also applies to wharfs and water heaters. For long pipelines, passive galvanic cathode protection is not sufficient so to provide current, an external power source or cathodic protection system is run. The electrical current provided will change the magnetic polarity of metal making it less susceptible to damage and corrosion. The metals that are commonly used as anodes are magnesium, aluminium and zinc. Since these metals corrode first. They have to be regularly checked to see if a replacement is already needed.

 

Another way to fight corrosion is to apply coat or paint on metal surface. Cars are covered with paint not only for aesthetic but also for body protection. Polymer coat is the usual form of paint applied on cars for its rust protection capability. Plating is a corrosion control method that is applied on metal materials for several instances such as jewelry, metal pipes and sports equipment. Corrosion control is a preventative measure carried out to increase the life span of object and retain their effectiveness. Keeping product rust free should be done regularly as a small sign of rust can lead to completely destroying a material.

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