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Metal Corrosion: How To Prevent It

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No matter what industry you’re in, you understand the dangers of rust and oxidation if you work with metals. Corrosion isn’t an issue you can ignore when it comes to making things out of metal. Even too much exposure to air can cause some metals to corrode very quickly. What can we do about this corrosion, to prevent it from ruining everything we make out of metal? In this article, we’ll dive deep into how to prevent metal corrosion to see how it’s done.

Choose the Right Material

The best way to beat corrosion is to get ahead of it before it becomes a problem. That starts with the choice of material. Stainless steel, nickel alloys, molybdenum, and duplex—all of these metals have great corrosion resistance. Understanding the environment your metal will be in for most of its life will help you choose the right material that can handle those specific conditions.

Design Choices

One lesser-known way to prevent metal corrosion is by designing metallic structures in such a way that they don’t corrode as quickly. For example, water is a very common molecule that can corrode metal over time. The places with the most corrosion on a metal structure are dips or crevices where water can collect. By designing the shape of metallic objects to have fewer crevices, seams, and places for water to collect, we can help protect that object against corrosion.

Reduce Environmental Exposure

Metal doesn’t simply corrode on its own for no reason. The surrounding environment is what causes a metal to begin corroding. Changing the environment to reduce corrosion can either be very difficult or quite simple, depending on what your metal needs protection from. For instance, reducing the pH of water or another liquid that you expose to the metal will help lessen the effects of corrosion.

Protective Paint Coatings

Certain paint coatings can work as a shield against corrosion. They do this by not allowing outside elements to transfer electrochemical charges to the metal underneath. By blocking this reaction, the paint coating prevents the surrounding environment from being able to touch the more sensitive metal it protects.

Written by Logan Voss

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