Choosing the wrong coatings for manufacturing parts and components can place significant strain on your bottom line by leading to continuous repairs, replacements, and downtime.
Before selecting a coating or material, it’s important to conduct sufficient testing to determine how effectively each option will withstand the specific environmental conditions of your product's application and operating conditions; Without this testing, you cannot be sure how the corrosive elements in the factory or the field could potentially impact your equipment.
Types of Corrosion
While a range of corrosion types can affect your operation’s metal components, the specific varieties that pose a risk to your parts are dictated by your specific application and the threats within your operation.
The most common types of corrosion include:
- Uniform or General Corrosion
While this type of corrosion is the most common, it is also the most preventable. Uniform corrosion occurs when widespread exposure to weather, chemicals, or other elements causes corrosion across the entirety of an exposed metal surface.
- High-Temperature Corrosion
Exposure to corrosive substances at high temperature in machines that experience combustion – furnaces or engines, for example – causes corrosion in specific types of metals that would normally be considered corrosion resistant.
- Local Corrosion
Local corrosion occurs in a specific area of the metal where corrosion protection fails or is improperly applied – such as a crevice or hole – and threatens the integrity of the entire metal surface. This type of corrosion is sometimes difficult to detect until a component fails, making it especially dangerous.
- Galvanic Corrosion
When two distinct types of metal come into contact, one will act as the cathode while the other acts as the anode. This electrochemical reaction causes the anodic metal to corrode faster than normal.
- Environmental Cracking
Corrosion can occur due to a wide variety of environmental factors during original machining processes and exposure during operation. Stress, chemical exposure, pressure, vibrations, welding, machining, and a long list of other factors can cause problematic cracking and damage.
- Alloy Corrosion
When corrosive elements target one component of an alloy, it is referred to as de-alloying. Alloys are created to provide specific properties and corroding one portion of the material destabilizes the entire metal component.
- Flow-Assisted Corrosion
When surface protection is eroded away by the flow of water or air, metal becomes exposed to environmental factors and begins to corrode.
- Fretting Corrosion
Most common in industrial machine components that experience intense and repeatable operation, fretting happens when surfaces wear down from constant friction caused by vibrations, rubbing, or intense impacts.
Corrosion risks can be largely mitigated through proper raw material and protective coating testing before incorporating them into your product's design and manufacturing processes. Testing laboratories can simulate any adverse conditions in your operational environment to see how various metals and coatings stand up to chemical exposure, environmental threats, stress, and more.
Corrosion Testing Services by Industry
Corrosion testing, used throughout many industries to ensure that the raw materials employed will perform safely with a long service life, is often heavily relied upon in applications related to:
The aerospace sector requires corrosion testing to ensure that aircraft components remain reliable throughout their expected service life. Environmental simulations of temperature, humidity, and corrosive atmospheres help engineers guarantee durability and safety in the equipment they manufacture.
Automotive parts must withstand temperature extremes, inclement weather, deicing compounds, and exposure to fuel, oil, and other chemicals. Components for automobiles undergo extensive testing to ensure resilient functionality in a variety of adverse conditions.
Given the high reliability standards of the medical sector, there is zero room for error on medical devices and equipment. Materials used to build this equipment must withstand harsh disinfectants, biological elements, and other corrosive risks. Implants must resist attack by substances within the body. Electrochemical potential studies are often used to assess the likelihood that devices may fail due to unexpected corrosion.
- Other Industries
While the aerospace, automotive, and medical fields may be the most dependent on corrosion testing, other industries such as energy, industrial processes, marine, and defense also rely on such testing to ensure their equipment operates reliably when exposed to environments that may be hazardous, vary in temperature, or include frequent exposure to salt water, sand, dust, chemicals, or other corrosive elements.
Testing with IMR
From passivation, salt spray, and cyclic corrosion testing to dezincification and mercurous nitrate testing, IMR Test Labs offers a wide range of corrosion testing services to assist you in choosing the appropriate raw materials and protective coatings for your application.
Our corrosion testing lab helps you predict the service life of components and compare competing materials currently under consideration to determine the impact of corrosion risks in your service environment. To learn more about our corrosion testing capabilities, contact us with questions or request a quote.