Q:
Are Oxidation and Corrosion Effects
Considered the Same or Separate Fields of Study?




A:

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.