Understanding Corrosion and How to Protect Against It
If you are like most people, the thought of losing your machinery and equipment to corrosion frightens you. That’s because it is expensive to repair and costly to replace. Once you search out ways of understanding corrosion, you’ll learn how to protect against it. This will save you money, time and sanity in the long run.
Understanding CorrosionWhen metal corrodes, you end up with iron oxide, otherwise known as rust. Iron ore is the main component of steel. Not only does it hold moisture, but it immediately wants to regress back to its natural composition of a dark red and grainy texture. In understanding corrosion, you need to be aware of the three elements required for the corrosion to take place. You have a metal which is corroded, a metal which is protected plus the current-conduction medium of the two. If two metals of dissimilar substance are put in contact, one will corrode while the other is protected. Here are a few examples:
- Metals under stress corrode while unstressed metals remain protected.
- Galvanized (zinc) fittings on steel pipes corrode while the steel itself stays protected.
- Steel that is freshly cut corrodes with the thread of pipe rusting first.
Protecting Against CorrosionTo extend the life and durability of metal substances, protection is key. While many options are available to you, one of the best is to paint the metal. Finished coatings provide a barrier between corrosion and the metal. There are multiple ways this protects your valuables:
- With the proper coating, oxygen and water found in the environment doesn’t make it to the metal’s surface as fast.
- The coating’s pigment changes the properties of the surface composition. This makes the steel less reactive with moisture.