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


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
    -- 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.