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Corrosion Prevention

By: Michelle Otutu | Reviewed by Raghvendra GopalCheckmark | Last updated: May 24, 2023

What Does Corrosion Prevention Mean?

Corrosion prevention refers to the implementation of strategies and techniques aimed at reducing or eliminating the deterioration of materials caused by chemical reactions with the environment.


Corrosionpedia Explains Corrosion Prevention

Corrosion is a process that involves the degradation of materials, such as metals and alloys, due to chemical reactions with the environment. These reactions can occur when metals are exposed to water, air or other substances, causing the formation of oxides, sulfides or other compounds that weaken the material and ultimately lead to failure. Corrosion prevention techniques aim to slow down or prevent this process by modifying the environment, changing the material's properties or applying protective coatings.

Several factors can affect the rate of corrosion, including the type of material, the nature and concentration of the corrosive agent, temperature and the presence of impurities. The rate of corrosion can be quantified using different methods, such as weight loss measurements, electrochemical techniques or corrosion coupons.

Some common corrosion prevention techniques include:

  • Cathodic protection. This technique involves applying an external electrical current to the metal surface to reduce the corrosion rate.
  • Corrosion inhibitors. These chemical compounds are added to the environment to reduce the corrosion rate by interfering with the chemical reactions between the metal and the corrosive agent.
  • Protective coatings. Protective coatings applied to the metal surface to create a barrier between the metal and the environment, preventing direct contact and reducing the corrosion rate.
  • Material selection. This involves choosing the right material for a specific application based on its resistance to corrosion. While dissimilar metal contact can not always be avoided because of weight, cost and functional issues, best practice is to never join different metals and alloys. If this isn't possible, insulate these metals/alloys with efficient moisture-resistant electrical insulators The greater the separation between different metals/allows, the more rapidly the anode will corrode.
  • Environmental modifications. This involves changing the environment by adjusting temperature, humidity or pH levels to reduce the corrosive agent's concentration.
  • Design modifications. This involves manufacturing bolts, screws, nuts and riveting from more noble materials than the members to be joined.


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