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What Exactly Is Fastener Corrosion and How Do You Prevent It?

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Ideally, you want and expect a fastener to stand the test of time. Fasteners are the glue that ties multiple elements together to build a structure or item with integrity in tasks large and small. Metal fasteners, on the other hand, are vulnerable to corrosion, which can weaken their structural integrity.

What is corrosion?

Corrosion is the process through which a metal deteriorates as a result of chemical interactions between it and its surroundings. The kind of metal and the ambient circumstances, most notably the gasses in contact with the metal, both influence the shape and pace of corrosion. A common form of corrosion is rust. Corrosion may be detrimental to metal in a variety of ways. Corrosion makes metal constructions dangerous, which can result in incidents such as collapses. Corrosion of any severity need repairs and upkeep.

How to prevent corrosion

Not all techniques of corrosion prevention are created equal. It is critical to select the appropriate process for the metal and environmental parameters involved.

  1. Corrosion-resistant metals - One of the most efficient methods of corrosion avoidance is to use corrosion-resistant metals. Aluminum and stainless steel are examples of this.

  2. Metal plating - In theory, plating is quite similar to painting. Rather than using paint, a thin layer of metal is put to the metal being protected. The metal layer protects against corrosion and provides an attractive appearance.

  3. Sacrificial coatings - A coat of a metal that is prone to oxidation is applied to the surface of the metal to be protected in this method. You can either utilise cathodic protection or anodic protection.

  4. Protective coating - A fresh coat of paint will improve the look and prevent corrosion of your metal structure. Some paints, on the other hand, aren't as good at keeping metals free of corrosion. Rubber paints are the most effective because they operate as a barrier that inhibits the metal's chemical structure from reacting with ambient components like water and oxygen, which cause corrosion.

  5. Corrosion inhibitors - Surface-applied chemicals, such as corrosion inhibitors, block or decrease electrochemical reactions that contribute to corrosion by reacting with metal or surrounding gas.

  6. Environmental measures - Corrosion is heavily influenced by the surrounding environment. Corrosion can be prevented or reduced by managing the environment. Simple solutions include limiting the metal's exposure to moisture, while more complex methods entail adjusting the metal's surrounding environment's concentrations of oxygen, sulphur, or chlorine.

  7. Modifying the design - Corrosion may be inhibited and the life of the metal prolonged by designing with this in mind. Preparation is the best defence against corrosion. Corrosion-preventative measures can extend the life of metal and preserve its aesthetic appeal.

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