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Corrosion is the gradual destruction of materials (usually metals) by

chemical reaction with its environment.

In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of
metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen.

Rusting, the formation of iron and oxygen, in the presence of water or air
moisture. Corrosion can also occur in materials other than metals, such
as ceramics.

Ceramics - is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action

of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or
partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous.


Electrochemical Considerations

For metallic materials, the corrosion process is normally electrochemical, that

is, a chemical reaction in which there is transfer of electrons from one
chemical species to another.

Metal atoms characteristically lose or give up electrons in what is called an

oxidation reaction . Oxidation is loss of electrons.

The electrons generated from each metal atom that is oxidized must be
transferred to and become a part of another chemical species in what is
termed a reduction reaction . Reduction is gain of electrons.

Cu + Br2 CuBr2(s)

+2 -1


0 ---> +2

lost 2 e-1 (oxidation)


0 ---> -1

gain 1e -1 (reduction)

Corrosion Rates

The corrosion rate or the rate of material removal as a consequence of the

chemical action.

This may be expressed as the corrosion penetration rate (CPR), or the

thickness loss of material per unit of time.

CPR = KW / At

K = is a constant

W = is the weight loss in metal, t = time

= density of the metal (in g/cm)

A = is the surface area of the metal exposed

Prediction of Corrosion Rates

Armed with the Tafel equation and Tafel plots, it is now possible to predict
whether a particular setup will result in corrosion and if so how fast the
corrosion will be.

In order for corrosion to occur, there must be a suitable anodic reaction and
an appropriate cathodic reaction. This is manifested as an intersection of a
cathodic branch and an anodic branch on a Tafel plot. The point of
intersection gives the corrosion potential and the corrosion current (or, more
accurately the log of the corrosion current density).

The rate of corrosion is governed by all the factors discussed previously. When all
the effects are taken into account, Tafel plots get quite complicated and some
interesting effects occur:

Electrochemistry is the study of chemical reactions which take place at the interface of an electrode:
usually a solid metal or a semiconductor and an ionic conductor, the electrolyte.
This electrochemistry deals with the interaction between electrical energy and chemical change.
When a chemical reaction is caused by an externally supplied current, as in electrolysis, or if an
electrical current is produced by a spontaneous chemical reaction as in a battery, it is
called an electrochemical reaction. Chemical reactions where electrons are transferred
directly between molecules and/or atoms are called oxidation-reduction or (redox)
reactions. \Oxidation and reduction
The term "redox" stands for reduction-oxidation. It refers to electrochemical processes
involving electron transfer to or from a molecule or ion changing itsoxidation state. This reaction can occur
through the application of an external voltage or through the release of chemical energy. Oxidation and
reduction describe the change of oxidation state that takes place in the atoms, ions or molecules involved
in an electrochemical reaction. Formally, oxidation state is the hypotheticalcharge that an atom would
have if all bonds to atoms of different elements were 100% ionic. An atom or ion that gives up an electron
to another atom or ion has its oxidation state increase, and the recipient of the negatively charged
electron has its oxidation state decrease.
The loss of electrons from an atom or molecule is called oxidation, and the gain of electrons is reduction.
This can be easily remembered through the use ofmnemonic devices. Two of the most popular are "OIL
RIG" (Oxidation Is Loss, Reduction Is Gain) and "LEO" says "GER" (Lose Electrons: Oxidation, Gain
Electrons: Reduction). Oxidation and reduction always occur in a paired fashion such that one species is
oxidized when another is reduced. For cases where electrons are shared (covalent bonds) between
atoms with large differences in electronegativity, the electron is assigned to the atom with the largest
electronegativity in determining the oxidation state.The atom or molecule which loses electrons is known
as the reducing agent, or reductant, and the substance which accepts the electrons is called the oxidizing
agent, or oxidant. Thus, the oxidizing agent is always being reduced in a reaction; the reducing agent is
always being oxidized. Oxygen is a common oxidizing agent, but not the only one. Despite the name, an
oxidation reaction does not necessarily need to involve oxygen. In fact, a fire can be fed by an oxidant
other than oxygen;fluorine fires are often unquenchable, as fluorine is an even stronger oxidant (it has a
higher electronegativity and thus accepts electrons even better) than oxygen.For reactions involving
oxygen, the gain of oxygen implies the oxidation of the atom or molecule to which the oxygen is added
(and the oxygen is reduced). In organic compounds, such as butane or ethanol, the loss of hydrogen
implies oxidation of the molecule from which it is lost (and the hydrogen is reduced). This follows because
the hydrogen donates its electron in covalent bonds with non-metals but it takes the electron along when
it is lost. Conversely, loss of oxygen or gain of hydrogen implies reduction.