Corrosion is one of the most common problems in just about every industry. It can affect household items, vehicles, heavy equipment, and entire industries, such as the pipeline industry and the manufacturing industry. Corrosion is commonly called rust, but there are many unique types of corrosion, each of which has different causes and cures. Learn about the most common types of corrosion with this brief guide.
Galvanic corrosion is by far the most common type of corrosion in every setting. In most cases, galvanic corrosion results when two dissimilar metals are exposed to a corrosive substance. The corrosive substance effects the electron flow between the metals and causes corrosion. This type of corrosion is preventable with certain methods, such as carefully choosing similar metals, avoiding contact with corrosive substances, and—in more serious settings or cases—utilizing a sacrificial coating or cathodic protection.
Another common type of corrosion is stress-corrosion cracking, which is caused by multiple cracks resulting from tensile stress. These cracks happen simultaneously and lead to allover corrosion and cracking of the surface. This makes the corroded element brittle. Cathodic protection can prevent this type of cracking, but once the cracking begins, fixing it is nearly impossible. During this type of corrosion, the metal basically detaches from the lower surface due to excessive cracking, and it’s typically not re-attachable.
Intergranular corrosion is another common type of corrosion. However, it’s not particularly severe, and it rarely affects any item to the point of rendering it useless. Under certain conditions, however, intergranular corrosion can result in a metal alloy completely disintegrating. To prevent serious intergranular corrosion, you can consult a corrosion engineering specialist or use corrosion-resistant metal alloys such as brass or zinc. Stainless steel is one of the metal alloys that’s more susceptible to the effects of intergranular corrosion, so it should be avoided if this is a concern.