Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers



Last updated: August 25, 2017

What Does Corrosivity Mean?

This means having the property or quality to corrode, erode or eat away. This is the destructive, harmful, deleterious or corrosive effect of a chemical on a substance. It can also be defined as a term that used to describe the rate of corrosion of a substance.

A substance that is corrosive is one that has the ability to damage or destroy other substances when they come into contact. A corrosive substance can severely attack a number of materials, including organic compounds and metals. In addition to that, living tissues can also be greatly affected by the corrosivity of a substance.


Corrosionpedia Explains Corrosivity

There are different levels of corrosivity. If a corrosive substance is of low concentration, then it is referred to as an irritant. Corrosion of surfaces that are non-living, such as metals, take place in a process that is distinct. A good example is where air or water electrochemical cells eat up or corrode iron, thus resulting in a condition known as rust.

Alkalis, oxidizers, acids, non-alkalis and bases are all known to be corrosive. Poisons are different from corrosives in that the corrosive affects the tissue it comes into contact with immediately. The use of personal protective equipment such as safety shoes, face shields, safety goggles, acid suits, protective gloves and protective aprons, among other personal protective clothing, is recommended when handling chemicals with corrosivity. Most of the protective equipment is made of rubber.

Household cleaning agents are one of the economic advantages of corrosive elements. For instance, in various drain cleaners used for domestic purposes, alkalis or acids are used for the purpose of dissolving proteins and greases that are contained inside the pipes. To increase corrosivity, a catalyst which normally speeds the rate of reaction is used. Once the corrosive has been used, the corrosive elements can either be neutralized or recycled instead of disposing. Untreated corrosives can lead to environmental problems, and thus one should be careful while handling them.


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