Corrosion in Steels – Its Types and Testing...

Corrosion in Steels – Its Types and Testing Corrosion is a universal natural process. The effect of corrosion is seen in every-day life in the form of rusted steel parts. Corrosion has a huge economic impact. About a fifth of the global annual steel production goes towards simply replacing steel parts damaged by corrosion. Even though it involves higher up-front cost, correct and efficient corrosion protection at the source helps save money and resources in the long run. Failure due to corrosion can result into dramatic consequences. Corrosion is the gradual degradation of a metal by chemical, often electrochemical reaction with the surrounding environment. Corrosion results into loss of material properties such as mechanical strength, appearance, and impermeability to liquids and gases. Whether steel is corrosion resistant in a specific environment depends on the combination of the chemical composition of steel and the aggressiveness of the environment. As per ISO 8044:2010, corrosion is the physicochemical interaction between a metal and its environment, which results in changes in the metal’s properties and which may lead to significant functional impairment of the metal, the environment, or the technical system of which they form a part. Corrosion takes place when there is a change in the steel’s or system’s properties which may lead to an undesirable outcome. This can range simply from visual impairment to complete failure of technical systems which cause great economic damage and even present a hazard to the people. The typical corrosion process can be regarded as the thermodynamically favoured reverse reaction of the metal-winning (extraction) process (Fig 1). Like all chemical reactions, corrosion processes take place when conditions favour the related chemical reactions (thermodynamics). Then, potential other factors drive the speed of the reaction (kinetics). Fig 1  Chemical reactions of iron during...

Corrosion of Cast Steels...

Corrosion of Cast Steels Cast steels are generally classified into the categories of (i) carbon (C) steels, (ii) low alloy steels, (iii) corrosion resistant steels, and (iv) heat resistant steels, depending on the alloy content and the planned usage. Steel castings are categorized as corrosion resistant if they are capable of sustained operation when exposed to attack by corrosive agents at operating temperatures which are generally below 300 deg C. The high alloy iron base compositions are generally given the name ‘stainless steels’, though this name is not recognized universally. Actually, these steels are widely referred to as cast stainless steels. Some of the high alloy steels (e.g. 12 % chromium steel) show many of the familiar physical characteristics of C steels and low alloy steels, and some of their mechanical properties, such as hardness and tensile strength (TS), can be altered by suitable heat treatment. The alloy steels of higher chromium (Cr) content (20 % to 30 % Cr), Cr-Ni (nickel)  steels and Ni-Cr steels do not show the changes in phase observed in ordinary C steel when heated or cooled in the range from room temperature to the melting point. Consequently, these steels are non hardenable, and their mechanical properties depend on the composition instead of heat treatment. The high alloy steels (stainless steels) differ from C steels and low alloy steels in other respects, such as their production and properties. Special attention is required to be given to each grade with regard to casting design and casting practice in the foundry. For example, such elements as Cr, Ni, C, N2 (nitrogen), Si (silicon), Mo (molybdenum), and Nb (niobium) can exert a deep impact on the ultimate structure of these complex steels. Hence, balancing of the alloy compositions is normally required to...

Corrosion of Cast Irons...

Corrosion of Cast Irons Cast iron is a standard term which is used for a large family of alloys of ferrous materials. Cast iron is mainly alloy of iron (Fe) which contains higher than 2 % of carbon (C) and more than 1 % of silicon (Si). Low cost of raw materials and relative ease of production make cast iron the last cost engineering material. Cast iron can be cast into intricate shapes since it has excellent fluidity and comparatively low melting point. It can also be alloyed for improvement of corrosion resistance and strength. With suitable alloying, the corrosion resistance of cast iron can equal to or exceed that of stainless steel and nickel (Ni) based alloy. Since outstanding properties are obtained with this low cost engineering material, cast iron finds extensive use in atmospheres which need good corrosion resistance. Services in which cast iron can be used for its good corrosion resistance include water, soils, acids, alkalis, saline solutions, organic compounds, sulphur compounds, and liquid metals. In some cases, alloyed cast iron is the only economical choice for the equipment manufacture. Cast iron and the basic metallurgy The metallurgy of cast iron is similar to that of steel except that Si in sufficient quantities is present to necessitate use of the Fe-Si-C ternary phase diagram rather than the simple Fe-C binary diagram. A section of the Fe- Fe3C (iron carbide)-Si ternary diagram at 2 % Si is shown in Fig 1. Iron carbide is also known as cementite. The eutectic and eutectoid points in the Fe-Si-C diagram are both affected with the introduction of Si into the system. With normal Si in the range of 1 % to 3 % in cast irons, eutectic C percentage is related to Si percentage as...

Corrosion of Alloy Steels...

Corrosion of Alloy Steels Alloy steels consists of a group of steels which shows mechanical properties superior to those of ordinary carbon (C) steels as the result of additions of certain alloying elements such as chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), and molybdenum (Mo) etc. Total content of the alloying elements can range from 0.5 % to 1 % and up to levels just below that of stainless steels. For many alloy steels, the primary function of the alloying elements is to increase the hardenability in order to optimize mechanical properties and toughness after heat treatment. However, in some cases the addition of the alloying elements is used to reduce atmospheric degradation of the steel under certain specified service conditions. Alloy steels are used in a broad range of applications. In some cases, corrosion resistance is a major factor in the selection of alloy steels, while in other applications; it is only a minor consideration. The information available on the corrosion resistance of alloy steels is end use oriented and often addresses rather specialized types of corrosion. Many applications use steels with a rather low content of the alloying elements, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, and structural alloy steels. Small additions of some alloying elements usually enhance corrosion resistance in moderately corrosive environments. However in severe environments, the corrosion resistance of this group of steels is often no better than that of C steels. Certain applications need more highly alloyed steels which, in addition to achieving the required mechanical properties, provide increased resistance to specific types of corrosion in certain environments. In this group of steels, corrosion resistance is also an important factor in alloy design. Corrosive environments and the use of the alloy steels Atmospheric corrosion is a factor in nearly all applications of...

Corrosion of Carbon Steels...

Corrosion of Carbon Steels Carbon (C) steel is the most widely used engineering material. Despite its relatively limited corrosion resistance, C steels are used in large tonnages in marine applications, power plants (both nuclear based power and fossil fuel based power), metal processing equipment, power transmission, transportation, chemical processing, petroleum production and refining, pipelines, mining, and construction etc. The annual cost of metallic corrosion to the total economy of a country is very high. Because C steels represent the largest single class of alloys in use, both in terms of tonnage and total cost, it is easy to understand that the corrosion of C steels is a problem of enormous practical importance. This, of course, is the reason for the existence of entire industries devoted to providing protective systems for iron and steel. Because of corrosion, the design aspects are also very important. Indeed, design changes are often the most efficient manner of dealing with a particular corrosion problem. C steels also often called mild steels have limited alloy content, usually less than 2 % of the total of all the additions. These levels of additions do not generally produce any remarkable changes in general corrosion behaviour. One possible exception to this statement is the weathering steels, in which small additions of copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), and/or phosphorus (P) produce significant reductions in corrosion rate in certain environments. At the levels present in the C steels, the usual impurities have no significant effect on corrosion rate in the atmosphere, neutral waters, or soils. Only in the case of acid attack is an effect observed. In this latter case, the presence of P and sulphur (S) markedly increase the rate of attack. Indeed, in acid systems, the pure irons appear to show the...