Basics of corrosion

Most common metals and their alloys are attacked by environments such as atmosphere, soil, water, or aqueous solutions. This destruction of metals and alloys is known as corrosion.

It is generally agreed that metals are corroded by an electrochemical mechanism. With practically all commercial processes engineered on a continuous basis of operation, premature failure from corrosion of various types of equipment, including heat exchangers, piping, and others, may mean costly shut downs and expensive maintenance operations.

It is especially troublesome in oil refining, chemical industries, and electrical power plants, as well as in food and liquor processing, paper manufacture, refrigeration, air conditioning, etc.

Therefore, an understanding of corrosion principles and corrosion control should be of great interest to industry and the general public.