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Production and Degradation of Steel
Reaction between the material and the surrounding environment takes place

Plates, pipes, profiles, etc.

Raw material Iron ore


The presence of water / humidity and Oxygen is a pre-requisite for corrosion of steel
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How is rust formed ?

Painted surface exposed to humidity

The water molecules penetrate the paint Due to osmotic forces blisters are formed

The blisters break and corrosion is initiated

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Some environments are more aggressive than others.

• Steel will corrode at different
rates when exposed to dissimilar environments, such as seawater and fresh water Seawater is more aggressive than fresh water and will give a higher corrosion velocity
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CP and corrosion: Corrosivity_liquid1

Parameters influencing the corrosion speed.

Atmospheric corrosion
 Humidity  Temperature  Concentration of salts  Amount of air pollution,
including acid rain, soot and dust particles

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Corrosion rate depends on humidity

Atmospheric corrosion
Corrosion rate

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Relative Humidity, %

Corrosion Protection
• There are many ways of preventing corrosion • Here: Focus on Paints and Cathodic Protection (CP) • For submerged structures our
general recommendation is: Use Paint as the primary corrosion protection system Back up the paint system by a CP system. CP will protect weak points and damaged areas of the paint film and thereby prolong the lifetime of the structure
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Paint systems show different properties when exposed to one environment

• • •
Two paint systems are exposed to the same environment One system may be almost inert to the surrounding environment The other may deteriorate rapidly and corrosion starts It is important to know the properties of the system before putting it into service
CP and corrosion: Corrosivity_liquid2
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Types of Corrosion

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Uniform corrosion General corrosion Crevice corrosion Galvanic corrosion Pitting corrosion Erosion corrosion

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Uniform Corrosion
A corrosion attack that is uniformly distributed over the entire surface
Corroded area

Thickness after corrosion Original thickness

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General Corrosion
General corrosion is uniform by nature Still, deep pits or uneven areas are found

CD 0026-001

CD 4911-0004

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Crevice corrosion occurs under paint spillage or plates
Crevice corrosion occurs in narrow gaps where the oxygen concentration is lower than on the freely exposed part of the material

Ingress of seawater
Plate Paint

Stainless Steel
Corroded areas
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Galvanic Corrosion
Pre-requisites: • Water (Electrolyte) • Two metals with different potentials • Electrical contacts between the metals Important parametres: • Anode - Cathode area ratio. • Electrolyte resistivity (Conductivity) • Difference in galvanic potential
of the metals

Fe ++

Cathode Stainless steel
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Anode Steel

Pitting Corrosion on stainless steel

Salts with aggressive ions


Pitting corrosion

Oxide film
Stainless steel

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Pitting Corrosion

Pitting corrosion is a localised attack on a material normally protected by a passive film The passive film may be destroyed mechanically or by aggressive ions in an electrolyte Severe corrosion may take place beneath the passive layer

Pitting corrosion

Passive layer

Stainless steel
Seen from above
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Cross section

Pitting corrosion on an Aluminium pipe
• Corrosion started from the inside • Aggressive ions has caused an attack penetrating the pipe wall • Photo taken from the outside

CD 0026-004

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Erosion Corrosion
Erosion corrosion on a “plane” surface
Cross section From above

Flow direction

Sharp corners creates turbulence, leading to erosion corrosion
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Erosion Corrosion
Erosion corrosion caused by the uneven joint
Direction of flow

Uneven joint Severe corrosion attack on pipe wall
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