Explore the basic nature of corrosion and its many processes
Discuss the impact corrosion may have in many sectors of our lives
Compare the economical consequences of corrosion damage in various sectors of activity
Review some basic environmental and material selection considerations
Describe the discoveries and organizations that can help prevent and control corrosion damage
This Module consists of seven 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 1.1, 1.2, and 1.6 of the reference textbook (Corrosion Engineering: Principles and Practice).
Most people are familiar with corrosion in some form or another, particularly the rusting of an iron fence, the degradation of steel pilings or boats and boat fixtures. However, invisible rusting often leads to surprises as exemplified in this picture of a city lamppost fallen on a windy day due to corrosion of its steel base.
Piping is another major type of equipment subject to corrosion. This includes water pipes in the home as shown in the following Figure, where corrosion attacks mostly from the inside, as well as the underground water, gas, and oil pipelines that crisscross our land. Thus, it would appear safe to say that almost everyone is at least somewhat familiar with corrosion, which is defined in general terms as the degradation of a material, usually a metal, or its properties because of a reaction with its environment.
A common copper sink drain having suffered complete perforation after cleaning by a local plumber. (Courtesy of Kingston Technical Software)
This definition indicates that properties, as well as the materials themselves, may and do deteriorate. In some forms of corrosion, there is almost no visible weight change or degradation, yet properties change and the material may fail unexpectedly because of certain changes within the material. Such changes may defy ordinary visual examination or weight change determinations.
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See also CCE 513: Corrosion Engineering