5 Types of Steel Corrosion Common in Texas Manufacturing Plants

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Steel plays a pretty central role in your manufacturing plant. Chances are good that it forms the walls and roof of the facility. It’s used in the girders and uprights. It’s also used throughout your manufacturing equipment. There are quite a few reasons that steel use is so widespread – it’s incredibly strong and durable. It’s also relatively resistant to wear and tear, and it is affordable. However, it can be susceptible to corrosion in many different forms. Below, we’ll take a closer look at five types of steel corrosion seen in Texas manufacturing plants.

What Is Corrosion?

Before we touch on the types of corrosion you might face, we should define what we mean. Technically, it can be considered any sort of degradation that results in changes to the metal’s properties and its function. Corrosion can be caused by many different factors, as well, including chemical reactions, electrochemical reactions, lack of protection against moisture, exposure to corrosive elements, such as high salt content in coastal areas, and more.

The Types of Corrosion You Should Know

Galvanic – One of the most common types of corrosion, galvanic corrosion happens when two metals are used together while exposed to an electrolyte. According to NACE.org, the most corrosion-prone metal of the pair will see the most significant amount of corrosion, while the less-prone of the pair will be protected.

Pitting – Pitting is localized to specific areas of a piece of steel, and takes the form of small holes eroded from the metal. Pits can be large or small, but smaller holes are certainly more common. In all, pitting is one of the most dangerous forms of corrosion because it eliminates strength while only reducing steel weight by a small amount.

Uniform Attack – The single most common type of steel corrosion in Texas manufacturing plants is “uniform attack” corrosion. It occurs over the entire face of a piece of steel, and is usually initiated by a chemical or electrochemical reaction. The entire piece of metal thins, although this thinning is not always completely uniform. Eventually, so much of the metal is lost to rust and corrosion that the structure fails. However, despite its commonality, uniform attack corrosion is one of the simplest to avoid and even stop once it has started.

High Temp – Another type of steel corrosion, high-temp corrosion occurs in environments where steel is subject to very high temperatures, as well as contact with a number of other compounds that result in oxidation of the steel. These compounds include oxygen and sulfur, but there are others. This is one of the rarer types of corrosion, and is specific to manufacturing processes where high heat and oxidative compounds are used in conjunction.

Crevice – Crevice corrosion is another very common source of trouble for Texas-based manufacturers. It can be seen in areas where access is often limited, such as the gap between two joined pieces of metal, the space under rubber gaskets, and the space under bolt heads. The most common cause of this type of corrosion is exposure to corrosive fluids and the presence of stagnant solution.

In Conclusion

These are just five types of corrosion. While they are commonly seen in Texas manufacturing plants, other types may be present, including inter-crystalline corrosion, hydrogen-assisted cracking, and more. The best defense against steel degradation from rust and corrosion is to invest in corrosion protection. Advanced paint formulations can provide excellent protection against most types of corrosion that your facility’s equipment will face. Coupled with a proactive inspection and industrial cleaning regimen, new paint applications can help you get the most out of your equipment investment.

Painters USA offers industrial cleaning services as well as industrial painting to help you maintain your equipment. Contact us to start your painting project today at 1-800-999-8715!