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Corrosion is an irreversible interfacial reaction of a material (metal, ceramic, polymer) with its environment which results in consumption of the

material or in dissolution into the material of a component of the environment.

The deterioration of a metal by chemical or electrochemical reaction with its environment A chemical action that causes the gradual deterioration of the surface of a metal by oxidation or chemical reaction. The deterioration of metal by chemical or electrochemical reactions with substances in its environment

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Hydrogen-ion concentration (pH) in the solution Influence of oxygen in solution adjacent to the metal Specific nature and concentration of other ions in solution Rate of flow of the solution in contact with the metal Ability of environment to form a protective deposit on the metal Temperature Cyclic stress (corrosion fatigue) Contact between dissimilar metals or other materials as affecting localized corrosion.



WHEN METAL IS EXPOSED TO AN OXIDIZING GAS at elevated temperature, corrosion can occur by direct reaction with the gas, without the need for the presence of a liquid electrolyte. This type of corrosion is referred to as tarnishing, high-temperature oxidation, scaling, or gaseous corrosion. Initial film growth is usually very rapid. If the scale is a nonporous solid and completely covers the metal surface, the reaction rate will decrease when the thickness reaches a few thousand angstroms as the transport of reactive species through the film becomes rate controlling.

Protective and non protective scales formed on alloy 800. (a) Cr2O3-base protective oxide scale Cr2O3formed in sulfur-free oxidizing gas. (b) Sulfide-oxide scale formed in reducing conditions containing sulfurSulfidehydrogen sulfide. Courtesy of I.G. Wright, Battelle Columbus Division

pitting corrosion occur during active dissolution if certain regions of the sample are more susceptible and dissolve faster than the rest of the surface. This section concentrates on the better-known and widely studied phenomenon of pitting corrosion of passive metals.

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Introduction CORROSION has always been an unavoidable part of petroleum refining and petrochemical operations. Although certain materials problems are caused by other factors, a predominant number are due to various aspects of corrosion. Corrosion problems increase operating and maintenance costs substantially. Scheduled and unscheduled shutdowns for repairing corrosion damage in piping and equipment can be extremely expensive,

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and anything that can be safely done to keep a process unit on stream for long periods of time will be of great benefit. A large proportion of corrosion problems are actually caused by shutdowns. When equipment is opened to the atmosphere for inspection and repair, metal surfaces covered with corrosion products will be exposed to air and moisture. This can lead to pitting corrosion and stress corrosion cracking unless preventive measures are implemented. When equipment is washed with water during a shutdown, corrosion can be caused by pockets of water left to dry.

HighHigh-temperature sulfidic corrosion of 150-mm (6-in.) dia carbon steel tube from radiant 150(6section of crude preheat furnace at crude distillation unit. Note accelerated attack on fire side

Naphthenic acid corrosion on top of 150-mm (6-in.) bubble caps made from type 317 150(6(S31700) stainless steel containing 2.95% Mo. Tray temperature was 305 C (580 F)

Chloride SCC of type 329 (S32900) stainless steel by chloride salts that concentrated as water evaporated

FSM-IT (Field Signature Method Inspection Tool) is a new NDT technology for inspection and monitoring of metallic pipes and structures. The system is designed to monitor internal metal loss, or pitting due to corrosion or erosion with very high sensitivity and without operator variation. Wall changes, such as cracking, are also detected.

An electric field is set up across the area to be monitored, in this case a weld Corrosion causes metal loss which causes increased resistance across the weld at that point, while a crack along the weld disturbs the current in a similar manner . The resultant changes in the electric field are measured and converted back to metal loss figures.


The first step in the materials selection process is a thorough review of the corrosive environment and equipment operating conditions. This review requires input from knowledgeable process engineers. Precise definition of the chemical environment, including the presence of trace compounds, is vital. It is always desirable to minimize the list of materials; this allows in-depth evaluation. In other cases, the initial list may be exceptionally small because of limited knowledge about the operating conditions or the complex chemical environment.

The following sections will demonstrate the aspects of design detail that may accelerate corrosion:SHAPE :  Geometrical form is basic to design. The objective is to minimize or avoid situations that worsen corrosion.  The general problems include localized corrosion associated with differential aeration (oxygen concentration cells), crevice corrosion, and deposit corrosion.

Environments that promote metal dissolution can be considered more damaging if stresses are involved. In such circumstances, materials may fail catastrophically and unexpectedly. Safety and health may be significantly affected. Figure below shows cases in which design detail is used to minimize stress. Perfection is rarely attained in general practice, and some compromise on materials limitations, both chemical and mechanical, is necessary.