Calcium (Ca)

Definition - What does Calcium (Ca) mean?

Calcium (Ca) is a chemical element described as alkaline, soft and gray. It belongs to the top five most abundant earth elements in terms of mass. It is also among the most plentiful dissolved ions, both in mass and molarity.

This element is vital to living organisms, such as in cellular processes, and also possess a wide array of industrial applications.

Corrosionpedia explains Calcium (Ca)

Chemically, calcium is highly reactive and soft, though harder than lead. It is a silver-like metallic element that can be extracted from calcium chloride and other forms of fused salts via electrolysis. When produced, it generates a whitish gray nitride and oxide coating, especially when subjected to air.

In its metal form, it produces hydrogen gas at a high rate, but not under room temperature to produce heat, which makes it beneficial in hydrogen production. In its powder state, calcium reacts with water rapidly and reacts strongly in acid solutions. That is why it is thought that solutions with calcium or calcium chloride are highly aggressive to alloys and metals. However, common construction metals do not normally undergo serious corrosion for various reasons, such as:

  • Low oxygen solubility - This lessens the degree of attack with increasing calcium concentration
  • Low temperature - Metal corrosion reduces along with a reduction in temperature, and when calcium or calcium chloride temperature exceeds 20°F (-6.5°C)

However, corrosion still occurs in some cases, like in the field of refrigeration. To prevent it, operators should observe various measures like avoiding using dissimilar metals and preventing leakage of substances like ammonia, which can promote corrosion.

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