Prevent Corrosion of steel
With the exception of gold, platinum and a few other metals, corrosion affects almost all metals. It is the deterioration of metals by chemical reactions in the environment. Iron and steel are the most commonly used metals, but at the same time, are quite susceptible to corrosion. Every year, we incur huge amounts of losses due to corrosion of iron and steel. It damages building structures, bridges, water systems, home appliance systems and other important industrial equipment causing huge economic burdens. If the correct preventive measures are taken ahead of time, a lot of trouble caused by corrosion can be minimised. Let us see how iron and steel corrode or rust and what can be done to prevent corrosion.
Corrosion of steel
Corrosion of steel is inevitable. The most significant category of steel corrosion is the rusting of iron, which is a chemical process that weakens iron over a period of time. Rust is the red crest on top of the metals that we see. It is not just moisture that makes iron rust. Both water and oxygen are necessary for the steel to corrode. A great example is shipwrecks. When the ship sinks deep into the ocean, it stops rusting. The lack of oxygen in such depths of water is what makes the rusting stop.
The rust on top of the steel is actually protecting it from further corrosion. But when iron rusts, we clear it away, exposing this iron to further deterioration. Corrosion of steel is a chemical phenomenon that can be hindered. Some strategies have been developed to get hold of this immense problem.
Preventing steel corrosion
The most effective method of preventing corrosion in steel is to coat it with another material that does not rust. Over the years, advances in metallurgy have enabled us to mix different alloys and get the desired results.These procedures have saved us lots of trouble and costs.Here are some ways to prevent corrosion in steel:
Zinc Coating (Galvanised steel)
Galvanisation is the process in which zinc coating is applied to steel to prevent it from rusting. When zinc is exposed to oxygen in the environment, zinc oxide is formed. The zinc oxide further reacts with hydrogen to form zinc hydroxide. Finally, this zinc hydroxide and carbon dioxide create a thin layer of zinc carbonate, which prevents steel from rusting. This process is preferred because it is quite reasonable and cost-friendly.
Chromium Coating (Stainless steel)
Chromium is another substance that does not rust. The chromium reacts with oxygen to produce chromium oxide. This chromium oxide creates a thin protection layer which is also the strongest. Stainless steel has been widely manufactured and is the most robust steel.
Aluminium Coating (Aluminium steel)
Aluminium steel is coated with aluminium-silicon alloy that is quite resistant to rusting. It keeps steel’s properties at very high temperatures and is often used in ovens, heaters and fireplaces. Aluminium coating is one of the most effective strategies to prevent corrosion in steel.
further information on how to prevent corrosion can be found here.