$300 billion. That's an estimate of the annual cost of corrosion in the U.S. And that includes just about every industry sector in the U.S.
Corrosion is a term used to describe the deterioration of a material as it reacts with its environment. If you are talking about iron, then you and I know it as "rusting". It's a natural process.
A scientist would probably describe this deterioration of iron as an electrochemical breakdown of iron and call it "oxidation". The oxidation of iron occurs with the reaction with oxygen. Iron plus oxygen makes iron oxide. Iron oxide is much more stable than the refined metal we call iron. Given enough time, iron and most steel objects will rust and disintegrate back into iron oxide, which is its naturally occurring form found in the earth. Water just speeds up this reaction so the iron rusts a lot quicker.
How do you prevent rust? A better question might be "how do you control it". Protective coatings on the metal are a good start.
The equipment frame plate pictured here is completely covered in rust. How long it remains a frame plate will depend on its usefulness. If the rust continues unabated, the frame plate will eventually be scrap metal. But the manufacturer saved the frame plate by having us media blast it to remove the rust. We then advised the manufacturer to dry the piece in a hot oven, and apply 2 coats of primer before applying the paint itself.
The result? A perfect fix, and a big overall savings in costs.
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