Impermeable Surface

Definition - What does Impermeable Surface mean?

An impermeable surface refers to any natural or artificial material that does not allow water or other fluids to readily penetrate or pass through it. Examples of such surfaces are concrete, oil and gravel. Impermeable surfaces are often used to house metallic structures as a corrosion prevention measure.

Corrosionpedia explains Impermeable Surface

In the construction industry, metallic structures such as wires and equipment are often housed in concrete enclosures to prevent contact with moisture. This is because concrete acts as a barrier against water infiltration. The use of impermeable surfaces is also widespread as a corrosion prevention mechanism in offshore or marine applications. In most cases it effectively prevents wet corrosion, which is the formation of rust a metal's surface due to the generation of a reactive electrochemical cell. Wet corrosion can damage metal structures and equipment, including stainless steel.

However, impermeable surfaces may pose certain risks to the environment depending on how they are incorporated. Such risks include:

  • Pollution of surface water
  • Flooding of surface water
  • Erosion from flowing surface water
  • Formation of stagnate water
  • Heat island effect
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