Corrosion on parts can cause a wide range of problems before, during and after production. Corrosion can lead to problems with paint or other coating adhesion, misfit for assembly, and can reduce visual appeal. This is a common concern and one that can cause expensive disruptions in the supply chain if not properly prevented.
Corrosion on metal occurs in many forms and can be categorized into localized and general forms. Corrosion is the result of the oxidation of metal, or in layman’s terms, the result of a chemical reaction between metal and its surrounding environment which leads to the deterioration of the metal.
Localized corrosion includes pitting, crevice corrosion, and filiform corrosion. Pitting is the occurrence of small holes or cavities appearing on metal surfaces. Crevice corrosion forms in shielded areas such as under washers, gaskets, fastener heads, etc. Filiform corrosion happens when water gets underneath a coating such as paint.
A general form of corrosion that most people are aware of is rust. Rust is an electrochemical event that occurs when a metal is exposed to water. Some action, such as applying a preventive coating, must disrupt this sequence in order to prevent rust from forming. Corrosion on parts can cause a wide range of serious problems for manufacturers. If you work with metals, prevention is the key to ensuring quality finishes and satisfied customers.
Scott Fouts, Regional Manager for Kyzen Chemical Company highlights a few common causes of corrosion:
- High humidity conditions in the factory
- Shipping to high humidity locations
- Not using the proper shipping containers
- Trying to wash multiple metals with different chemistry packages within the same wash cycle.
The picture below depicts flash corrosion which can happen when a steel part dries completely after being cleaned without corrosion prevention. One method to combat this is to have a corrosion package built into the cleaning chemistry.