Today, we use metal in just about every industry. Metal has its perks, but it also has a few cons—namely the prevalence of corrosion in metal materials. Corrosion can affect infrastructure, appliances, vehicles, and many other critical components of our society.
Fortunately, corrosion is preventable. But since there are so many forms, preventing it isn’t always an easy task. If you’re wondering what the different types of corrosion are, here are eight of the most common.
When two different metals come into contact with each other, galvanic corrosion takes place. Also known as bimetallic corrosion, this form of deterioration is visually distinguishable by the rapid deterioration of one metal while the other remains untouched.
The most prevalent type of corrosion is uniform corrosion, which is an even attack over a material’s surface. It’s also the mildest form of corrosion because of how easy it is to identify and treat.
Filiform corrosion is a form of localized corrosion that takes place beneath painted or coated surfaces. Water can get in through cracks in the paint or coating, causing degradation behind the protective layer and weakening the framework.
Extreme heat causes high-temperature corrosion, as the name suggests. When steel is exposed to high temperatures in an environment rich in oxygen, sulfur, or another oxidizing element, high-temperature corrosion occurs.
Pitting corrosion—also known as simply pitting—is another kind of localized corrosion. It usually materializes as small holes or cavities on an object’s surface, with the rest of the surface remaining unaffected. The problem with pitting is that it’s difficult to detect and characterize.
As we dive deeper into what the different types of corrosion are, you’ll notice that localized corrosion is very common. Crevice corrosion is another example of it. This type of corrosion is highly penetrative, and you can find it in or close to holes or crevices on metallic surfaces.
Microorganisms, invisible to the naked eye, cause microbial corrosion, also known as microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). This form of corrosion can affect both metallic and nonmetallic materials.
Grains form when an alloy is solidified. Impurities in the grain boundaries as well as the reduction or concentration of an alloying agent at these boundaries can cause intergranular corrosion. This compromises the metal’s mechanical characteristics.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the most common types of corrosion, you’ll be able to recognize them much more easily. Prevention and early treatment are the keys to stopping this destructive process from wreaking havoc on metal.