Corrosion and its Impact on Daily Life

Metal corrosion includes oxidation or exposure to oxygen in the environment and electrochemical processes, which means that metal forms corrosion cells on its surface that greatly accelerate the transformation of metal to the mineral state and involve both chemical reactions and electron flow. In short, corrosion is the gradual formation of destruction and disintegration of materials.

Corrosion can affect the material not only externally but also internally and can be as severe as a silent disease, so by the time we notice the corrosion, it is already too late and there is nothing more we can do to save the affected structure. There are many conditions that cause it, such as surface conditions, temperature, contaminated environments, biological effects and the passage of time exposed to the above factors are the most common.

The effects of corrosion on our daily lives are many and are often unnoticed, however, they can affect us directly.

At home, for example, doors, pipes, and buildings are damaged by corrosion, which affects aesthetically, economically and mostly leads to accidents that can have serious consequences.

In our daily journey along public roads, the corrosion of a damaged vehicular bridge, the collapse of towers and poles, buildings in poor condition, parking lots and walkways with metal structures about to fall, perimeter fences (handrails), and playgrounds. In short, any metal structure with corrosion that we find in our path can represent a danger to our lives and may cause from a slight injury to death.

In industrial plants, corrosion can seriously affect the cost of products and can also cause equipment failures, contaminate the product, release toxins, collapse buildings, cause environmental pollution due to the leakage of chemicals in corroded equipment, deplete natural resources, among others, negatively and directly impacting an entire society.

In addition to those mentioned above there are other consequences that affect us indirectly; of course, this is not a new problem, but due to massive industrialization and the development of more machines and structures containing iron or steel, corrosion is more visible today.

One of the most widely applied methods for protecting metals against corrosion is hot dip galvanizing, a zinc compound, which is metallurgically bonded to steel with the option of applying an electrostatic paint coating that not only provides an aesthetic benefit but also helps to minimize the impact of contaminants on the metal and thus provides an advanced, cost-effective anti-corrosion coating.

Idania de la Cruz / Marketing Manager ITM Group – Guatemala