What you should know about corrosion
HOW IT OCCURS
Corrosion is degradation of the properties of materials due to interactions with their environment. It results in loss of function of the component or system. Most metals are susceptible to corrosion.
There are various types of corrosion based on the nature of attack as well as the type of environment to which the material is exposed. The corrosion product we see most commonly is the rust which forms on the surface of steel.
HOW IT AFFECTS OUR EVERYDAY LIFE
Corrosion is a massive deteriorating problem. It is way more damaging than you might think. Corrosion is everywhere. It is in the pipes that bring us water in our home; it destroys vehicles; it attacks tracks and bridges.
Though the cost of corrosion is high, we generally pay little attention to it except in high risk areas. The segments that are most vulnerable to the cost of corrosion are associated with utilities, transportation, and infrastructure. Several studies show that the annual direct cost of corrosion to an industrial economy is approximately 3.1 percent of the country's Gross National Product (GNP), and globally the corrosion cost is over 6 percent of the world's GDP.
There are also health and safety related hazards caused by corrosion such as pollution of supply water, collapse of buildings and factories, and so on.
HOW IT CAN BE PREVENTED
Like death and taxes, corrosion is something we hope to avoid, but ultimately it is something we must learn to deal with. Corrosion usually originates at the surface of the metal. Therefore successful corrosion control methods ranges from painting the surface of steel or galvanising it to high-tech laser-surface melting. Corrosion can be controlled if we educate ourselves regarding this issue. It requires long-term thinking about the life-cycle of a structure. Mass awareness about corrosion will make a major impact in preserving environment and resources, as well as protecting ourselves and our fellow human beings.