The effects of oxidation and corrosion have been treated as
separate, but equal, fields of study in metallurgy/materials
engineering for many years.
- Engine People -- Those dealing with
reciprocating, gas, turbine, steam generating plans,
etc. are concerned primarily with "Oxidation" and
other high temperature -- 1000 to 2000 degrees
Fahrenheit -- chemical attack on metal components by
oxygen, sulfur, vanadium, chlorine, sodium, etc.
- Chemical Process People -- Those dealing with
petroleum, petrochemical, and industrial chemicals of all
types are concerned primarily with lower temperature
ambient to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit but extremely
aggressive "corrosive" environments.
- Steam Generation Systems -- Used in
central station electrical power plants face both types
of attack on their various components, including
aqueous corrosion at ambient temperatures.
- A Combined Approach -- For the questions/answers
that follow in this section, we will take a combined,
electrochemical approach to describe the basic, low(er)
temperature mechanism for both effects.
- Elevated Temperatures -- Can accelerate both
oxidation and corrosion processes so they become "uniform"
and can be described solely as chemical processes with well
established kinetics and temperature dependence.
- It should be noted -- "Weathering" -- the atmospheric
corrosion/oxidation of steels -- is one of those combined
processes at ambient temperatures.
- "Cor Ten" -- (A US Steel Corp high strength, low alloy
steel with about 2 wt/o total alloy content) forms a very
adherent oxide/sulfide/hydroxide layer. It is been a very
cost-effective structural/architectural steels since the 70s.