Ionic Current

Definition - What does Ionic Current mean?

Ion current refers to a flow of electrical charge that is observed in electrolytes, wires, plasma and other conducting materials or fluids. It is a primary component in the initiation of corrosion reactions in metals. The unit of measure of ionic current is the ampere.

Corrosionpedia explains Ionic Current

Ionic current is used to describe the very fundamental electrochemical reactions required for corrosion to occur. The conditions that must be present for corrosion to occur are:

  1. A positively charged area, known as the anode
  2. A negative charged area, known as the cathode
  3. A moisture-bearing electrolyte for ionic current flow between the anode and the cathode
  4. A return path for electric current flow, i.e., the metallic path between the anode and the cathode

It is vital that the anode and cathode are immersed in the same electrolyte. Two pieces of metal in contact with each other in a humid (or otherwise electrolytic) environment develop ideal conditions where ionic current flow and corrosion will occur.

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