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Pitting corrosion is a form of extremely localized corrosion that leads to the creation of small holes in the metal. The driving power for pitting corrosion is the depassivation of a small area, which becomes anodic while an unknown but potentially vast area becomes cathodic, leading to very localized galvanic corrosion. The corrosion penetrates the mass of the metal, with limited diffusion of ions. The mechanism of pitting corrosion is probably the same as crevice corrosion. Pitting can be initiated by a small surface defect, being a scratch or a local change in composition, or a damage to protective coating. Polished surfaces display higher resistance to pitting.

For example, metals like stainless steel and aluminium which are normally protected by a thin oxide film, are subjected to pitting corrosion in a chloride environment, thus making its unsuitable for in use in a sea water system.

Classification of Corrosion

Based on the mechanism of corrosion, it is classified into two types 1. Chemical or dry corrosion 2. Electrochemical or wet corrosion Dry corrosion:

Corrosion takes place in dry state.

In occurs due to the direct chemical attack of the metal by the environment. Corrosion products accumulate on the same spot, where corrosion occurs. Dry corrosion is self controlled. It follows absorption mechanism. Homogenous metal surface undergoes corrosion observed.

Uniform corrosions are observed. Example: Formation of mild iron oxide on its surface. Dry corrosion is a form of corrosion, that occurs at elevated temperature without a liquid phase. Its a high temperature oxidation reaction. Wet corrosion:

Corrosion takes place in the presence of moisture. It occurs due to the setting up of large numbers of galvanic cells. Corrosion products accumulate on cathode.

Wet corrosion is continuous process.

It follows electrochemical mechanism. Heterogeneous metals bimetallic surface is the condition for corrosion.

Pitting corrosions are observed. Example: Formation of rust on iron under moist atmosphere. Wet corrosion means that there is a liquid phase, for example condensed humidity, in contact with metal. Its the most common form of corrosion.

Some Types of Corrosion

1. Galvanic or Bimetallic corrosion

Example: Zinc and copper, zinc forms the anode and is attacked and gets dissolved, whereas copper acts as cathode.




GALVANIC CORROSION When 2 different metals or alloys come in contact with each other, the less noble metal corrodes protecting the other cathodically. This phenomenon is called galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion occurs when 2 different metals are electrically connected and are immersed in an electrolyte. In order for galvanic corrosion to occur, an electrically and ionically conductive path is necessary. This effects a galvanic couple where the more active metal corrodes at an accelerated rate and the more noble metal corrodes at a retarded rate. Galvanic corrosion is often utilized in sacrificial anodes. For example zinc is often used as a sacrificial anode for steel structure like pipelines. Factors such as relative size of anode (smaller is preferred), type of metal and operating conditions (temp, humidity), affect galvanic corrosion.


INTERGRANULAR CORROSION Intergranular corrosion is the phenomenon in which there is increased rate of corrosion along the grain boundaries rather than at the grain interior. Grains are crystals usually on a microscopic scale, that constitute the (micro)structure of metals and alloys. This selective dissolution may lead to the dislodgement of grains. Some significant examples include Intergranular corrosion in sensitized stainless steels and exfoliation in aluminium alloys etc:At the temperature range of 450-850 oC carbon diffuses to the grain boundary of stainless steel and reacts with chromium to precipitate chromium carbide. But for stainless steel, the corrosion resistance depends on the Cr content which due to depletion increases the susceptibility to corrosion.

WATER LINE CORROSION It is generally found that when water is stored in a steel tank, the maximum corrosion occurs along a line just beneath the water meniscus. This is because of the fact that the highly oxygenated area above the waterline acts as the cathodic part, while the portion just below the waterline act as the anodic part undergoing corrosion. This type of corrosion is commonly seen in water tanks, base of ships etc:STRESS CORROSION (figure 3.4 from page 3.6) Stress corrosion is the part of tensile stress (including residual stress remaining after fabrication) and localized corrosion which combine to produce a brittle cracking of metal under certain conditions. During stresscorrosion cracking, the metal or alloy is virtually unattacked over most of its surface, while fine cracks progress through it. It generally has serious consequences.

The stresses can be internal or applied. An example is that of brass condenser tubes. The reason for this is the moist atmosphere containing ammonia. The attack is along the grain boundaries which become more anodic with respect to grain interior.

CONCENTRATION CELL CORROSION This corrosion is also known as differential aeration corrosion. It occurs when a metal is partially immersed in a solution or when partially covered by water drops, dust, sand etc:- Its often combined with stagnant fluid or in areas with low fluid velocity. Here the more aerated area acts as the cathode, while the less aerated area acts as the anode undergoing corrosion. There are 3 general types of concentration cell corrosion: > Metal ion concentration cell > Oxygen concentration cell > Active- passive concentration cell The common examples in this type of corrosion include corrosion of heater handles, knives etc:-

MICROBIOLOGICAL CORROSION Microbiological corrosion is that caused / promoted by microorganisms. It can apply to both metals and non-metals, in both presence (aerobic) and in lack of oxygen (anaerobic). The bacterial activities can -> produce a corrosive environment, -> alter metal films resistance, -> create electrolytic concentration cells on the metal surface, -> affect rate of cathodic and anodic reaction. Sulphate reducing bacteria are common in lack of oxygen. They produce hydrogen sulphide, causing sulphide stress cracking. In presence of oxygen some bacteria directly oxidize iron to iron oxides and hydroxides, other bacteria oxidize sulphur and produce sulphuric acid causing biogenic sulphide corrosion. Microbes like fungi, algae etc:- develop a microbiological film on iron surfaces. Such films can contain dissolved salts, acids etc:- thereby creating local biological cells to accelerate corrosion.