What Is Corrosion & Why Does It Happen?

In simple terms “Corrosion” is the breakdown of materials caused by their interactions with the surrounding environment.

We generally associate corrosion with the breakdown of metals and over time the corrosion of all metals is inevitable. The chemical make of a particular metal will determine how susceptible it is to corrosion, which is why it’s important to choose the right metal for the right application, and also use the right protective coatings.

To better protect metal assets from corrosion we need to first understand why corrosion occurs.

Why Does Corrosion Occur?

In nature most metals are found as compounds with other elements. So to obtain pure metal (the oxidized state) steel mills will separate the metal from the other elements by adding energy.

The different types of pure metals are then often combined with other compounds to create the materials we use to build cars, planes, bridges, and buildings, such as steel and aluminium.

Through the process of oxidising these mechanical, engineering and building materials, they become very susceptible to corrosion due to the low stability of the metallic state. As an example newly made steel will become covered in rust in just a few short hours if protective coatings are not applied.

So let me break it down in even simpler terms:

  1. To obtain pure metal from the earth we must add energy.
  2. Corrosion occurs when the metal begins to release this energy after oxidizing agents in the environment trigger a chemical reaction, the most common oxidizing agent being oxygen.

So if oxygen (and other elements) cause metal to corrode you must have the right protective coating to reduce corrosion and increase the lifespan and quality all metal materials otherwise they will deteriorate quickly.

Rust Never Sleeps

Choosing the right protective coating for your assets is crucial to maximising its lifespan, quality, appearance and functionality.

Depending on how and where the materials will be used will determine the ideal protective coating. At Bundaberg Sandblasting we specialise in asset protection, particularly those made of steel and our highly trained team can help you get the perfect protection for any material. From bridges, machines and buildings, to antiques, bikes and cars.

If you have any questions about corrosion protection please call 07 4153 6089 today and our NACE 2 Certified Coating Inspector will happily answer your questions and explain the ideal solution for your situation.