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Atmospheric corrosion has been a significant cause of metal degradation ever since metals have been used. The testing of metals for their performance in the atmosphere has been carried out for about 80 years. The early tests focused on the performance of materials in various atmospheric conditions so that accurate estimates of useful lives could be obtained. This work showed that sulfur dioxide from fuel combustion and chlorides from marine sources were the main accelerants of atmospheric corrosion. More recently, the focus of testing has changed to determine how variations in atmospheric constituents affect corrosion of metals. Standardization has become more important in carrying out tests and evaluation of results as well as evaluating the corrosivity of the atmosphere. The concept of standard classification of the atmospheres is discussed along with some outstanding issues in atmospheric corrosion testing.
atmospheric corrosion, time of wetness, sulfation plate, classification of atmospheres, weathering steel, acid precipitation, site monitoring, chloride candle, particulates, kinetics
Chief engineer—Materials, Air Products and Chemicals, Allentown, PA