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Galvanic Corrosion

Definition - What does Galvanic Corrosion mean?

Galvanic corrosion occurs when two metals corrode at dissimilar rates when exposed to a corrosive electrolyte. One of the metals acts as anode and corrodes much faster than it would under ordinary conditions, while the other acts as a cathode and corrodes at a slower rate than would normally be the case. Galvanic corrosion occurs when electrochemically dissimilar metals are exposed to electrical contact within an electrolyte.

Safeopedia explains Galvanic Corrosion

In the occupational health and safety context, an example of processes where galvanic corrosion may cause dangerous equipment failure can be found in anhydrous ammonia refrigeration equipment. In a 1998 incident an ammonia refrigeration pipe failed owing to galvanic corrosion resulting an explosion. Galvanic corrosion can be prevented when it is possible to electrically insulate the two metals from one another, by eliminating contact with the electrolyte, by using electrochemically similar metals, by using antioxidant pastes, through electroplating, or cathodic protection. When this is not possible, frequent inspections of metals vulnerable to galvanic corrosion should be carried out.

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