THIS CHAPTER WILL PROVIDE A GENERAL OVERview of the cause of metal corrosion, and its prevention by the use of protective coatings, or overlayers. It must be understood, however, that a thorough discussion of corrosion and corrosion mechanisms can extend far beyond the summaries provided in this chapter. In fact, there are numerous books written solely on corrosion, manifestation of the different types of corrosions, and the reasons why such corrosion occurs. Similarly, the use of protective overlayers over a metal to prevent corrosion is likewise a quite varied and extensive topic. The literal interpretation of the word “overlayers,” as used herein, means anything applied, or overlaid on a metal to prevent, retard, or reduce corrosion. This would include monomolecular layers of gasses, oxides, or other materials that may slow or stop the corrosion process under very specific conditions. Moreover, it includes all of the possible metals and organics that can be applied to a surface. Some of the more common overlayers will be discussed herein.
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