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The need for additional information to aid in the selection of metals, dissimilar metal couples, and protective systems in military communication and associated equipment is recognized from commonly high incidences of corrosion failure of such equipment under environmental conditions of coastal installations and beachheads. Marine environments apparently are among the most severe conditions encountered in service. Experiences have indicated that the central and northern California coastal areas represent the most problematic situations relative to signal equipment protection within the United States because of frequent heavy fog conditions and prevailing westerly winds. It has been proposed that galvanic couples which can withstand the corrosive environments there will provide satisfactory service under natural environments elsewhere. A project was undertaken to evaluate galvanic couples of magnesium with other metals and protective systems, simulating constructions and mountings of communication equipment and usual fabricating practices. A coastal site in the vicinity of San Francisco was acquired for the exposure of specimens. It was recognized that the project would be of an exploratory nature, since only partial information was found in the published literature (1) regarding protective systems for magnesium couples in atmospheric exposures, and since it was decided to employ visual observations in this earlier phase. Emphasis was desired on information which would be useful as a practical guide to design and development engineers of signal and associated equipment. The objectives of the work undertaken were: (1) to perform a preliminary evaluation of corrosion behavior of magnesium coupled with various other metals as untreated, pretreated, and painted systems, when exposed to marine atmosphere in the San Francisco area, and (2) to report the findings of the evaluation to serve as a guide for design and development engineers of signal and ordnance equipment.
Chief, Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, Pa.
Professor, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.