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Recognizing Corrosion

Module Six of CCE 281 Corrosion: Impact, Principles, and Practical Solutions

Lesson Objectives

Required Reading

This Module consists of twenty three Web pages of required reading. The pagination is visible at the bottom of each page with direct links to adjacent pages.

Additional information can be found in sections 6.1 to 6.5 of the reference textbook (Corrosion Engineering: Principles and Practice).


The previous Modules have introduced the general science of corrosion processes. In reality, the principles that govern these scientific concepts are rarely of interest to most people facing corrosion problems. The main questions these people generally ask are:

The present Module will focus on answering the first of these questions and the next Module the last. Corrosion damage can take many shapes and forms that are often related to specific alloy/environment/operation conditions. The several forms of corrosion may be divided into three groups [1]:

  1. Those recognizable with the unaided eye

  2. Those which are more easily discerned with specific aids (e.g. dye penetrants, magnetic particles, or low-power microscopy)

  3. Those which can only be identified definitely by optical or electronic microscopy

Main forms of corrosion attack regrouped by their ease of recognition

Main forms of corrosion attack regrouped by their ease of recognition

Much can be deduced from examination of materials which have failed in service. It is often possible by visual examination to decide which corrosion mechanisms have been at work and what corrective measures are required to solve the problem.

Example problem 6.1

Corrosion problems can rarely be attributed to single forms of corrosion. Provide some examples to illustrate that statement.  


Example problem 6.2

The seriousness of a corrosion situation is often directly related to the hidden nature of the specific corrosion defect that is progressing. Provide some examples in support of that statement.  

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Information Module

See also CCE 513: Corrosion Engineering