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Most Common Causes of Localized Corrosion

Most Common Causes of Localized Corrosion

Your company’s name and the safety of its assets and employees rely heavily on your infrastructure’s integrity. Without proper structural components and preventative safety measures, your company may fall subject to property damages and severe injuries. Of all the things that can influence the quality of your infrastructure, localized corrosion is among the worst in homes and industrial pipeline systems. When the durability of your pipelines wither, your site becomes much more susceptible to hazardous material leaks, fires, and, in some cases, explosions. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent or slow localized corrosion. Knowing the most common causes of localized corrosion can help narrow which approach is best for your business.

Dissolution of Passive Film

The protective outer layer on metal is the passive film. When a metal’s passive film starts to dissipate, it becomes much more susceptible to localized cavities of corrosion. The formation of these cavities is called pitting.

Typically, pitting happens because of halide-containing solutions. For the majority of structural metals, chloride ions are the hardest hitting.

Oxygen Availability

Some types of localized corrosion occur due to an imbalance in oxygen levels. Varying oxygen availability between two sites on a passive metal causes an electrochemical cell to form.

This occurrence is most likely to happen on an area of a metal surface with limited mass transfer. For this reason, the spaces beneath deposits and inside tight crevices are highly susceptible to localized corrosion due to different available oxygen levels.

Improper Materials

One of the most common causes of localized corrosion is a poor choice of metals. Certain metals can withstand factors that lead to localized corrosion better than others. When a company settles for a cheaper metal for their pipeline infrastructure, they compromise the structure’s integrity.

Always opt for the building materials that are optimal based on your construction site’s external elements. You should assess the soil or water in which you plan to bury your pipeline system to ensure your selection of building components can withstand its conditions. Further, you should understand which method of corrosion prevention will work best.

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