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Each failure or corrosion case is as specific as a human thumbprint or genetic make-up. There is often enough information generated by a failure analysis investigation to permit one to pinpoint the cause of failure to the role played by a few atoms located in a microscopic environment. The design and practice of accelerated corrosion testing for the purpose of ranking materials and processes would benefit greatly if the degradation modes caused by the tests being performed were better characterized and monitored. This paper reviews the acceleration factors commonly used in continuous and cyclic cabinet testing and discusses some of their impact on the results generated. The inadequacies of traditional salt spray testing is discussed in the light of a comprehensive framework of parameters leading to corrosion degradation. The importance in recognizing the presence of competing failure modes is examined in relation to the statistical characteristics of the underlying acceleration factors.
Accelerated testing, Corrosion factors
Professor, Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario