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4.

3 DISCUSSION

Through the results obtained, it is indeed true that each metal does have its own

individual corrosion behavior. By analyzing the corrosion behavior of each metal, the

importance and particular role not only can be understood but corrosion can also be

prevented.

Zinc metal had the highest corrosion rate in both acids. Zinc is characterized

through a negative standard electrode potential (-0.76 V) and because of this

thermodynamic characteristic, it is a metal that is very susceptible to corrosion.

(Nurnberger, 2001) Zinc also corrodes a lot in high pH solutions. Zinc as well is an

amphoteric metal and hence is not resistant in acid and alkaline regions. Though very

corrosive, Zinc has its advantages too. Zinc forms protective coatings made of solid

corrosion products in many normal media and in building materials by a reaction with its

environment. As zinc has a higher electromotive potential than iron or steel, it commonly

serves as galvanic protection for iron and steel. As zinc is sacrificed, rusting of iron can

be prevented.

Lead metal can not only be dissolved in acids, but also in alkalis. In fact, lead metal

has the highest corrosion rate in both alkali solutions. Lead is heavily attacked in an

alkaline electrolysis above pH 9. (Nurnberger, 2001, p. 76) Though Lead also corrodes

in oxygen-containing water, this has serve lead as a roofing material. While lead sheet

can resist the external elements better than any other roofing material, like many of its

competitors it is vulnerable to distilled water (condensation). In principle, falling

rainwater contains an appreciable amount of dissolved carbon dioxide which attacks the
lead resulting in the formation of a layer of lead carbonate. The layer adheres to the

surface of the metal and gradually thickens to form a stable, protective patina,

preventing further corrosive attack. (Coote, 1996)

On one hand, copper metal portrayed an excellent corrosion resistivity. Copper

metal had the lowest corrosion rate among all other metals in acids and alkalis. This is

due to the fact that copper has a positive standard electrode of +0.34 V. The resistance

of all grades of copper to atmospheric corrosion is good, hence their wide usage for

contact with most waters. Copper is used in domestic and commercial plumbing system.

The introduction of copper pipes offered a stronger, lighter and cheaper alternative to

lead. The first pipes, used in 1810 were made of sheet metal. Since then, there have

been a number of developments joining of copper pipes. (Oliphant, 2003) Copper is

also used as an alloying element for alloys such as brass and bronze to minimize

corrosion.

Though alkali solutions are very aggressive in corroding Tin, Tin metal is more

resistant to acids and even distilled water. Due to its poor mechanical properties, it is

not used at all for structural materials. Instead, it is used to coat others metals such as

steel and is referred to as tinplate. (Maklouf, 2014) Since Tin has a lower position than

iron in the reactivity series, tin will not be sacrificed, in fact it prevents corrosion of Iron

unless the Tin is scratched.

Just like Tin, Silver is known to be corrosion resistant. However, it does show a high

corrosion rate in higher pH conditions especially in sodium hydroxide solution. On the

contrary, Silver shows good resistivity towards acid and distilled water. Silver can also

be used as a coating. For example, industrial silver plating is a corrosion resistant


coating that can be plated on steel, aluminium, copper bronze and even stainless steel

alloys. This protects the inner content underneath by creating a barrier for corrosive

attack. Its shiny appearance also makes the coated product to be more presentable.

This is why silver plating is also used in a wide variety of applications from Christmas

Tree ornaments to cutlery and hollowware.