Electrolytic Corrosion of Steel

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Definition - What does Electrolytic Corrosion of Steel mean?

Electrolytic corrosion of steel is a process to protect steel or iron from corrosion. In this process, clean, oxide-free iron or steel is immersed into molten zinc to form a zinc coating that is metallurgically bonded to the iron or steel surface. The substrate is coated with zinc to prevent it from rusting.

The electrolytic corrosion process can be applied to a wide range of products and is a popular process for coating materials with a protective coating because of its low cost, ease of application and comparatively long maintenance-free service life. The coating normally lasts at least 20 to 40 years in industrial environments and 50 to 100 years in less aggressive environments.

The electrolytic corrosion process is also known as the electrolytic galvanization process.

Corrosionpedia explains Electrolytic Corrosion of Steel

In the electrolytic protection process, the material that needs to be protected from corrosion is coated with a zinc powder or coating. It is a one-time process, ensuring a long service life and virtually eliminating disruptive maintenance.

The zinc coating protects the surface against corrosion by providing protection to the iron or steel in two ways:

  • The zinc coating shields the base metal from the atmosphere.
  • The zinc gives cathodic (sacrificial) protection because zinc is more electronegative than iron or steel.

Even if the surface becomes scratched and the base metal is exposed, the zinc is slowly consumed while the iron or steel remains protected from corrosion.

The electrolytic galvanizing corrosion process produces a durable, abrasion-resistant coating of metallic zinc and zinc-iron alloy layers on the substrate and completely cover the work piece. No other coating for steel matches its unique combination of properties and advantages.

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