Localized Corrosion PhenomenaRichard Alkire, Paul Kenis
An important consideration in the production of materials for industrial applications is the design lifetime of the material. Corrosion has been estimated to be responsible for approximately half of all industrial equipment failure. It is essential to understand the mechanism for failure, and then to design around it. Clearly, the design principles in this field are different from those used in designing products; success in corrosion engineering is achieved when nothing happens. The field of corrosion encompasses a myriad of interconnected phenomena that span a broad range of length and time scales, varying from micro-scale processes occurring at the metal/solution interface to the macro-scale events which directly lead to material failure. One of the most dangerous forms of corrosion is pitting corrosion, in which highly localized dissolution events that initiate at defects in the metal surface proceed much faster than corrosion associated with the passive metal surface. Improved understanding of pitting processes are necessary to increase the efficiency of corrosion failure prediction, and to allow better methods of providing corrosion protection to be developed, such as the design of new metal alloys and corrosion inhibitors.