Definition - What does Elution mean?

Elution refers to the chemical process of altering a material by stripping its ions via the ion exchange with another material. It is a vital process in the prevention of corrosion by facilitating augmentation and inhibition of corrosion by exchanging corrosion prone ions with more resistant ones on a substrate metal.

Corrosionpedia explains Elution

Elution is performed by interacting a metal with greater ionic affinity with one of lesser affinity. This is most clearly demonstrated in the process of column chromatography. It is physically performed by washing the metal with a solvent. A significant concentration of ion-exchange resins are used to remove unwanted ions of a substrate metal to be protected against corrosion.

However, the specific electrochemical and environmental conditions in which elution is to be used must be carefully evaluated. In some cases, elution may actually be the root cause of corrosion in certain metals. This is the case with stainless steel. Localized corrosion is known to occur on stainless steel after elution. This is often due to stainless steel being used in high temperature environments, causing the elution speed of iron items to be slower as room temperature allows for the most optimum movement of iron ion atoms.

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