Corrosion Effects


Corrosion is the gradual destruction of material, usually metals, by chemical reaction with its environment. This usually means electro-chemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen. Rusting, the formation of iron oxides, is a well-known example of electrochemical corrosion. Corrosion Engineers will use different methods to slow its effects.

Using steel structures in seawater as an example; Seawater is normally more corrosive than fresh water because of the higher conductivity and the penetrating power of the chloride ion through surface films on a metal. The electro-chemical reactions (e.g.4Fe + 2H2O+ 8OH + O2 → 4Fe(OH)3) will take place as a higher rate on the steel structures, and if necessary steps are not taken, the steel structure will eventually break down.