Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers



Last updated: August 10, 2020

What Does Stress Mean?

Stress is a physical pressure or strain applied to a material, which can often contribute to corrosion damage. Stress can be caused by crevice loads, brought on by stress concentration or other things like the materials' assembly type or residual stresses from cold working and other types of fabrication.

Stress can cause cracks in materials, which can propagate depending on the corrosive ions' rate of diffusion. Cracks that propagate along structures differ depending on the applied levels of stress.


Corrosionpedia Explains Stress

Stress is a major cause of corrosion damage, such as cracking and pitting. This is because the simultaneous effects of aggressive environment and tensile stress can result in severe corrosion. With the influences of varying levels of stress, cracks and other forms of damage can be induced, which can lead to more severe damage.

When stress is paired with a harsh environment, corrosion can occur, taking place slowly at first, and then growing more rapidly. As the crack propagates, fractures occur, resulting in total component failure. In order to prevent this from happening, selection of materials that can limit the level of stress should be implemented as early as the design phase.

When a component is damaged and is showing signs of corrosion due to stress, treatments include:

  • Removal of rivets
  • Removal of visible damage
  • Applying doublers
  • Applying coatings

The development of new alloys could also help reduce stress levels by making materials more resistant to the damaging effects of corrosion.


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