Definition - What does External Circuit mean?
An external circuit is composed of all the connected components within an electrolytic cell to achieve desired conditions. These can include resistors, connecting wires, capacitors and lamps.
In this type of electrical circuit, there are various paths that may be taken by the charge to reach the negative battery terminal. In such a case, the type of electrical charge remains unchanged throughout its journey.
Corrosionpedia explains External Circuit
In the field of electrochemistry, there are chemical reactions that take place at the electrode interface. These are typically a semiconductor, a solid metal, an electrolyte or an ionic conductor. In such reactions, there are electric charges involved that move between the electrolyte and electrodes within a certain solution or the environment.
When the chemical reactions result from supplied external current, like in electrolysis, the electric current is generated by impulsive chemical reaction, as in batteries, leading to an electrochemical reaction. In these reactions involving external current, the electrons are directly transferred between atoms and molecules. The reactions produced are referred to as oxidation-reduction reactions.
Gaining a thorough understanding of electrical matters, specifically external circuits, aids in achieving balance in reduction-oxidation reactions, which is applicable in electrochemical reactions involving water, such as in water treatment plants.
Knowledge of external circuits and the electrochemical reactions involved is vital in preventing corrosion or the formation of steel rust related to electrochemical processes. Thus, concerned industries should take this field seriously in order to protect machinery and promote efficient operations.