Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Rest Potential

Last updated: July 24, 2017

What Does Rest Potential Mean?

Rest potential is the potential difference between an electrode of a given metal, immersed in an electrolyte, and a reference electrode, when the current flowing to and from the metal electrode is zero.

Rest potential is useful in determination of:

  • Corrosivity of metals
  • Activity level in cathodic or anodic protected surfaces
  • Corrosion resistance of implants under different biological conditions

Rest potential is also known as open circuit voltage, free corrosion voltage and electrochemical corrosion potential.


Corrosionpedia Explains Rest Potential

Due to naturally occurring electrolytes in the working environment, various metals react and produce different rates of corrosion. The electrochemical reaction rate, or rate of corrosion, of the metals is a function of the rest potential of the given metal. While reporting rest potentials, it is essential to show the sign of the potential.

The rest potential is the pointer of the electrochemical reaction status of a system in question. It provides a clear indication of a passive or active status of the reaction in certain critical systems.

Implantable devices for the treatment of medical conditions and replacement of body parts have been in use for many decades. The most critical property of an implantable component part is high corrosion resistance due to human physiology. Rest potential measurement provides an indication of suitability of the implantable material.

The measurement of rest potential has found applications in evaluating steel reinforcement material within concrete and various other field applications of corrosion control.



Open Circuit Voltage

Free Corrosion Voltage

Electrochemical Corrosion Potential

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