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Crevice corrosion



Crevice corrosion is a corrosion occurring in spaces to which the access of the working fluid from the environment is limited. These spaces are generally called crevices. Examples of crevices are gaps and contact areas between parts, under gaskets or seals, inside cracks and seams, spaces filled with deposits and under sludge piles.

Additional recommended knowledge

Mechanism

Crevices can develop a local chemistry which is very different from that of the bulk fluid. For example, in boilers, concentration of non-volatile impurities may occur in crevices near heat-transfer surfaces because of the continuous water vaporization. "Concentration factors" of many millions are not uncommon for common water impurities like sodium, sulfate or chloride.

Crevice corrosion generally occurs due to differential electrolyte chemistry inside and outside the crevice: a single metal part undergoing corrosion is submerged in two different environments. This situation is somewhat reminiscent of galvanic corrosion:

galvanic corrosion
two connected metal + single environment
crevice corrosion
one metal part + two connected environments

The mechanism of crevice corrosion can be (but not always is) similar to that of pitting corrosion. However, there are sufficient differences to warrant a separate treatment. For example, in crevice corrosion, one has to consider the geometry of the crevice and the nature of the concentration process leading to the development of the differential local chemistry. The extreme and often unexpected local chemistry conditions inside the crevice need to be considered. Galvanic effects can play a role in crevice degradation.

Filiform corrosion is a type of crevice corrosion that may occur on an aluminium surface underneath an organic coating.

Significance

The susceptibility to crevice corrosion varies widely from one material-environment system to another. In general, crevice corrosion is of greatest concern for materials which are normally passive metals, like stainless steel or aluminum. Crevice corrosion tends to be of greatest significance to components built of highly corrosion-resistant superalloys and operating with the purest-available water chemistry. For example, steam generators in nuclear power plants degrade largely by crevice corrosion.

Crevice corrosion is extremely dangerous because it is localized and can lead to component failure while the overall material loss is minimal. The initiation and progress of crevice corrosion can be difficult to detect.

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Crevice_corrosion". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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