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Differential aeration

corrosion/Concentration cell
(Electrochemical corrosion)

Revathi Purushothaman
Learning Objectives for the topic

• You will be able to name the different types

of electrochemical corrosion

• You will be able to write and explain the

mechanism of electrochemical corrosion

• You will be able to identify the place of

corrosion for a given situation
Types of Electrochemical corrosion

1. Differential aeration corrosion

2. Galvanic corrosion
3. Pitting corrosion
4. Soil corrosion
5. Stress corrosion
Differential Aeration Corrosion
Definition : When a part of a metal is exposed to a
different aeration condition than the
other part of the same metal, the part of
the metal which is poorly oxygenated acts
as an anode and undergoes corrosion.

a drop of water
½ H2O +O2 2OH- : cathodic reaction
Well oxygenated: 2e-
acts as cathode Fe  Fe2+ +2e- anodic reaction Poorly oxygenated: acts
as anode and
Iron metal undergoes corrosion
Reactions or Mechanism
in neutral medium

At anode : Fe  Fe2+ +2e-

At cathode : H2O + ½O2 2OH-
Net Reaction: Fe2+ + 2OH-  Fe(OH)2

In the presence of excess oxygen

4Fe(OH)2 + O2 + 2H2O  4Fe(OH)3
Ferric oxide (yellow rust)

In the absence of oxygen it forms black rust i.e Fe3O4

 Poorly oxygenated area acts as anode
and undergoes corrosion

 Well oxygenated area acts as cathode

 Corrosion product (rust) occurs between

the cathode and anode

 When anodic area is small and

cathodic area is large it undergoes
rapid corrosion to form a pit and is
termed as pitting corrosion

Try to identify the part which under goes differential

aeration corrosion in the following cases

1. A metal rod partially immersed in beaker filled with

water or salt solution

2. A knotted metal wire fence

3. An iron water tank or pipeline partially filled with

Other sources to refer