Protective Coatings: The First Line Of Defense Against Corrosion

Every year, the metal industry loses millions of dollars through the actions of one simple phenomenon. This is corrosion. Steel and iron companies are heavily affected by the ability of this action and reaction to degrade components and products. To fight against the potential risks to the public from corroding metal components and products, companies turn to the finishing industry. They look to protective coatings to provide their parts and items with what they need to remain intact.

What Is Corrosion?

Corrosion is a reaction that occurs because of different factors. The most common type of corrosion is galvanic corrosion. This results when two metals, each having a different potential (electrochemical charge), are linked together through what is termed a conductive path. The current will flow from the metal that is anodized (positive) to the cathodic (negatively charged) metal. This transfer of ions from the weaker metal to the stronger one is responsible for creating the effect known as galvanic corrosion.

Another type of corrosion is referred to as stress-corrosion cracking (SCC). This results when a metal component or object becomes placed under tensile stress. This stress may result from a process called cold work or from welding and even thermal treatment. If the issue affects the grain boundary, SCC can occur. This leads to the formation of cracks. Corrosion sets in to these cracks further creating problems of stability. When combined with an environment that may increase the problems and capability of stress cracking, the problem becomes severe. In fact, the damage that results from SCC can be irreparable.

Other types of corrosion are:

  • General: A major media is water which oxidizes the surface of the metal resulting in a layer of rust. The process is electrochemical in nature
  • Localized: This type of corrosion is localized. It only affects a small part of a component
  • Caustic Agency: The result of when an impure gas, liquid, or solid erodes the material. One example is hydrogen sulfide

No matter what type, the most effective response will likely be suitable protective coatings.

Protective Coatings: The Response to Corrosion

In order to prevent or inhibit the impact of corrosion, manufacturers turn to protective coatings. In the case of galvanic corrosion, the application of a corrosion resistant coating would do one of two things:

1. Prevent the transfer of ions

2. Stop the conditions that allow it to exist

Some common metal protective coatings are aluminum, cadmium, cobalt-chromium, nickel-chromium and zinc. These may take the form of powder coatings, electroplating or electroless plating.

Protective Coatings

Metal coatings are advantageous for the manufacturer for many reasons. They augment the overall appearance of the exterior. They impede the overall wear-and-tear a component may undergo. They can also increase the overall size of a part. Yet, the main reason for choosing protective coatings is a simple one – to fight off the detrimental effects and serious risk caused by corrosion.

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About The Author


Leah Austin

Meet Leah Austin, the Swiss Army knife of writing, whose love for crafting captivating content knows no bounds. Armed with a magnifying glass for detail and a treasure trove of research skills, Leah has mastered the art of delivering articles and blogs that don't just inform, they enchant. Her journey into the realm of writing started with a curiosity so profound it could rival a cat's obsession with cardboard boxes. From the depths of technology to the peaks of finance, Leah fearlessly navigates diverse subjects, infusing each piece with a fresh perspective and a commitment to accuracy that's tighter than a squirrel guarding its nuts. Fueled by a voracious appetite for knowledge and a burning desire to share it with the world, Leah possesses a superpower: the ability to turn brain-busting concepts into prose so clear even your grandma could understand. Her dedication to quality and knack for spinning a yarn have made her a digital oracle, sought after for wisdom in a sea of clickbait. When she's not hammering away at her keyboard, Leah can be found communing with nature, whipping up culinary concoctions, or disappearing into the folds of a good book. With a lifelong love affair with learning and an unwavering commitment to excellence, Leah Austin continues to dazzle and enlighten through her writing antics.