What is Corrosion?
Corrosion is the gradual destruction and wasting away of metal. It is a natural process which is caused by a chemical reaction from the surrounding environment; the most common is oxidization.
Oxidization (a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen) results in rusting on the surface of the metal. But oxidization is just one example of corrosion. Other reasons metal corrodes include exposure to moisture, wind, and electrical currents.
OK. So now that we have covered the basic definition of corrosion, how do we prevent it from happening?
There are many ways to prevent corrosion, but in this post we are going to focus on three of the more common methods.
3 Ways to Prevent Corrosion
Corrosion is caused by chemical reactions between metal and environmental elements. By changing the environment the steel is exposed to, metal deterioration can be decreased.
This can include limiting the contact of the material to moister, wind, or outside air.
Choosing the Right Metal
The type of corrosion is only half the story. It also depends on the steel you choose for a particular application.
Aluminum, for example, is a corrosion resistant material. This makes it ideal for applications that will be exposed to the elements.
In stainless steel, the corrosion resistance depends on the different types of metals used to create it. The most commonly used types of stainless, 304 and 316, are both corrosion resistant.
Carbon steel, however, is iron based and susceptible to corrosion. Adding a protective layer like a zinc coating or paint, helps to make it more corrosion resistant.
Coatings include painting and plating. They are used to protect metals from environmental elements. They work by providing a protective layer of corrosion-resistant material between the steel and the damaging environment.
Aluminum alloys are often anodized. Anodizing makes a material more resistant to weathering and corrosion and is commonly used on metal applications where the surface will be in constant contact with the elements.
Galvanized metal is coated with a thin layer of zinc to protect it against corrosion. The zinc oxidizes when it is exposed to air creating a protective coating on the metal surface.
For more tips on preventing corrosion or to find a metal that is the best fit for your application contact your local sales representative.