All metals can corrode if they are not maintained, or at the very least, coated for their protection. Corrosion occurs when metals are exposed to the elements for extended periods of time. Metals corrode are different rates, but anti corrosive coatings can prevent this from occurring as quickly, if at all.
Here are three facts about corrosion.
How it Occurs
Fleet vehicles that are stored in the outdoors instead of the indoors are susceptible to corrosion. The rain, snow and salt are some elements that cause corrosion. Water and carbon dioxide form a carbonic acid. When it clings onto metal, the acid dissolves into hydrogen and oxygen. The dissolved metal bonds with the oxygen. This, in turn, creates rust. Rust then becomes worse with rain, snow and salt. Any metal exposed to the elements is at risk, but protective coatings help reduce the peril. Stainless steel is a popular metal because it corrodes less quickly than pure iron.
Types of Corrossion
All corrosion is not equal. When a metal’s surface is corroded entirely, it is known as a general attack. This type is usually a result of electrochemical reactions. Localized corrosion only affects a portion of a metal’s surface and is usually caused by stagnant conditions. Environmental cracking occurs when a metal’s environmental conditions are severe enough to cause them fatigue. It becomes brittle and cracks.
Preventing corrosion in some industries and fields is easier than in others. If you own a fleet of vehicles, storing them in a dry area that is not exposed to the elements is a start. Some organizations do not take the time to invest in prevention because they view it as an additional cost. Preventative measures, however, are recommended because they serve as an investment in health and safety. Hiring professional engineers who understand how chemicals react with each other and can make recommendations is one recommendation.
When it comes to corrosion, all metals are at risk. Understanding how corrosion occurs, the types of corrosion and how it can be prevented helps you create a safe and healthy environment.