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Pitting Corrosion

Last updated: May 8, 2017

What Does Pitting Corrosion Mean?

Pitting corrosion is a localised form of corrosion in which small pits, holes or cavities are produced. It is more difficult to detect or predict than more uniform forms of corrosion, and a small pit can cause complete equipment failure. Pitting can be caused by damage to oxide film coatings, poor application of coatings and non-metallic inclusions in metals.

Safeopedia Explains Pitting Corrosion

Given its role in equipment failure, metallic equipment should be inspected for pitting corrosion. This may include such items as alloy steel chain slings, cranes, stainless steel or copper pipes, engine cooler cores and other metallic industrial equipment. For example, the catastrophic fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery was caused by equipment failure owing to corrosion, including pitting corrosion. Corrosion increases the risk of catastrophic incidents and should be taken into account in workplace safety management. The construction, oil and gas and mining industries are particularly at risk for pitting corrosion damage to equipment. OSHA recommends that the use of any materials exhibiting pitting should be discontinued immediately.


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