Definition - What does Corrosion mean?

Corrosion is the deterioration and loss of a material and its critical properties due to chemical, electrochemical and other reactions of the exposed material surface with the surrounding environment.

Corrosionpedia explains Corrosion

Corrosion of metals and nonmetals takes place due to the gradual environmental interaction on the material surface. The structures and facilities of different materials are affected by this interaction. Even the ambient air, laden with moisture and oxygen, can start this process, known as rusting, on steel surfaces. In the case of buried structures and pipelines the soil chemistry and moisture determine the rate of damage. Fumes of acids such as sulfuric acid and dust of caustic soda also accelerate corrosion. In the case of aluminum, however, the oxide film formed due to initial corrosive attack protects the surface from further damage. In marine environments, in which airborne salt crystals are deposited onto ships, corrosion of submerged surfaces as well as surfaces floating above water level occurs.

Corrosion affects the microstructure, mechanical properties and the physical appearance of the materials. Rusting and other types of deterioration drastically reduces the capacity of pipelines and equipment, resulting in loss of output as well as loss of equipment, or even life. Hence, anti-corrosive coatings are used to combat the corrosion damage to critical structures and equipment.

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