What is Corrosion?


Corrosion or degradation of materials is typically caused by unwanted chemical reactions between the material and environmental factors such as pollution, ultra-violet radiation or other contaminants. These unwanted chemical reactions manifest themselves as rust (oxidation), materials degrading, staining, etc.

Some of the environmental pollution compounds are:

  • Nitrous Oxides (NOx) – forklift exhaust, automobile exhaust, unvented heaters. Includes amines, amides, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites.
  • Ozone (O3) – highly reactive oxygen (smog, etc.) Accelerates the degradation of materials in conjunction with other reactive gases. Affects rubber, plastics, paper, fabrics.
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) & Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) – Exhaust from cars, effluent from paper mills, oil refineries, heavy industry, decaying vegetation, outgasing from corrugated cardboard, adhesives, etc.
  • Carbonyl Sulfide (COS) – Very aggressive form of sulfur; Result of fossil fuel combustion, wood fires; prominent on oceans, can linger up to 50 miles from ocean source.
  • Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) – Very aggressive; prominent on oceans; residue of coal burning; hydrochloric acid may form in moist air.

Typical materials and how they are affected by the environment are:

Metals Corrosion, discoloration, staining & weakening from all corrosive gases.
Plastics Strength loss & discoloration due to Ozone, UV Rays, & Nitrogen Oxides.
Rubber Flexibility & strength loss due to Ozone, UV Rays, & Nitrogen Oxides.
Paint Surface erosion by Sulfur Oxides, Hydrogen Sulfides & Nitrogen Oxides.
Fabric Reduced strength & degradation by Sulfur Oxides & Nitrogen Oxides.
Paper Embrittlement, degradation, staining & discoloration by Sulfur Oxides.
Leather Weakening & powdery surface by Sulfur Oxides.
Ceramic Changing surface appearance by acid gases.
Digital/Magnetic Changing surface by acid gases or erasure of data from electric fields.

Learn How Intercept Protects Against Corrosion