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Symptoms and Causes of Metal Corrosion

An undesired chemical or electrochemical contact between the metal and its surroundings causes corrosion, which is a process by which metals gradually deteriorate from their surfaces. Loss of metal, unsightly appearance, high maintenance costs, and eventual failure of service are all consequences of metal corrosion in construction (Piotrowska, 2018).

Several different symptoms may be associated with electrical component corrosion. A wide array of environmental conditions is encountered when a computer, integrated circuit, or microchip is used in a variety of technology-intensive devices, from automobiles to medical equipment to consumer items. Electrochemical components are susceptible to corrosion that is difficult to detect. It is common practice to simply replace damaged parts and components due to corrosion failure (Xu, 2016). Corrosion failure costs are hard to pin down due to the difficulties in detecting and identifying corrosion failure. Several things might contribute to corrosion in electronic components, including moisture and humidity, corrosive gases, dust accumulation, microbes, Solar radiation, and heat Disruption of electrical service Whether it's low or high, slowly loosening connections. Mechanical vibrations Interaction between different metals, such as gold and aluminum (Au & Al) or the presence of an electrolyte at their interface electronic components that are susceptible to corrosion or damage due to environmental factors include Integrated Circuits (ICs), Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and Transistors, Capacitors, Diodes and Switches (Rathish, 2019). Cable connections and Magnetic Recording Media (Hard disc) are also at risk.

In galvanic corrosion, which occurs when two different metals come into contact with one another and an electrolyte, corrosion occurs and the metals get corroded. When these metals are joined together, a broad variety of electric potentials will be created (Kong, 2018). As a consequence of this difference in potential, an electric current is formed in the electrolyte. Galvanic corrosion is the process that is used in the production of batteries. The action of this circuit will deteriorate a metal that is of low quality. While the metal with the greatest potential is referred to as nobler, the metal with the least potential is referred to as less noble. Because of the oxides and salts that are generated as a consequence of corrosion, the circuit is eventually broken (Goyal, 2018). As a consequence of galvanic corrosion, the anode (the metal or connection with a lower potential) gradually loses its capacity to conduct electricity, ultimately culminating in the death of the battery as a whole.

After an initial examination of the corrosion and a determination by experienced persons whether the item or component is still worth the work and expense of repairing, corrosion repair may commence.

Removal of all corrosive material from the afflicted object. To avoid additional damage to the object in need of repair, use a corrosion removal procedure. After a thorough cleaning, it is often required to do a follow-up examination.

  1. When it comes to removing corrosion, mechanical, chemical, and other approaches are often used. Corrosion removal may be accomplished using a variety of mechanical ways.
  2. Choose the best method of repair and put it into action accordingly (Koochaki, 2021). As a rule of thumb, most professional repairs are done by established procedures that include all necessary safety measures.
  3. Applying a sealant or other protective covering to the surface.
  4. Inspection and testing are two terms that mean the same thing.

When it comes to repairing corrosion, only experts who have been properly taught and certified should be involved.

Galvanic corrosion may be prevented by selecting metals that are near to one other in the galvanic sequence. By separating incompatible metals from one another, it is less probable that these cells will deteriorate. In comparison to stainless steel that comes into contact with aluminum, stainless steel that comes into contact with copper has a decreased chance of developing galvanic corrosion (Triantafyllou, 2018). It is possible to tolerate large areas of aluminum in contact with stainless steel depending on the local environmental conditions, even though aluminum interacts negatively with stainless steel. In a maritime environment, corrosion is likely to be severe. There are, however, ways to mitigate this impact. Isolating aluminum and steel using an isolating coating or paint is a smart approach to minimize corrosion (Kausar, 2019). A somewhat safe surface area may be created by using insulating washers to isolate the two incompatible materials.

Galvanic Corrosion and Its Effects

When stainless steel is exposed to aluminum, it is susceptible to staining and corrosion as well as discoloration. Tea staining is another term for this. Insulation and regular maintenance may help keep stains at bay. Corrosion resistance may be improved by assimilating the fastener and applying a passive layer.

Diverse strategies exist to combat galvanic corrosion. Here are a few examples of how they may be used:

  • It is also possible to decrease galvanic corrosion by using an electroplating procedure to coat the metal with an inert metal.
  • It is possible to avoid galvanic coupling by placing Electrical Insulation between the two metals.
  • Use of a Galvanic isolator, which may be two series-semiconductor diodes connected in series with two diodes conducting oppositely (Roberge, 2019).
  • Galvanic corrosion may be prevented by using an impermeable covering on the metal surface, such as paint, to keep the metal from coming into contact with an electrolyte.
  • Galvanic current is reduced by using metals that have comparable potential. Thus, galvanic corrosion of the metals is reduced as a result.

All metallic components on a printed circuit board are susceptible to corrosion under biased conditions in humid service environments, and this is especially true if aggressive ions exist. Even though corrosion resistance is a significant factor when choosing metallic materials for PCBA applications, it is not often the major consideration when making these selections (Hosseini, 2017). Even when the PCBA in high-performance goods is enclosed, corrosion may still develop and cause the electronic device to fail if the service environment is very harsh or severe. In reality, failed electronics in industrial applications must be replaced, and the resulting loss of production time may be very costly or even deadly. A large number of times, the expenses associated with this exceed the costs associated with the damaged component itself. 

  1. Limit the Humidity

The quantity of water vapor in the atmosphere is measured by the term "humidity." A high level of humidity indicates a large amount of water in the air, and the reverse is true. Because corrosion is caused by excessive water, it follows that high humidity levels will lead to a rise in corrosion counts.

The greatest way to avoid corrosion is by lowering the humidity levels in your business. High-quality temperature control equipment is likely to be required, which might be a significant investment. In the long run, this investment will save you money by extending the life of your metal and electrical components.

  1. Control the Temperature

The use of climate control equipment may also help to guarantee that the working conditions your machines and electronics must undergo are not unduly severe. Even while neither excessive heat nor extreme cold can produce corrosion on their own, these two extremes may exacerbate pre-existing corrosion.

  1. Improve Air Flow

When it comes to corrosion, suppressed, recirculated air is a formula for catastrophe. It's not good for electronics to be stored in a restricted place with minimal breathing room and no natural ventilation. Imagine what would happen if you locked your phone in your vehicle on a hot summer day with the windows open and the sun streaming in. Due to the extreme heat and lack of airflow, the phone is very likely to be damaged or even destroyed. 

Conclusion

Unique methods are needed for the protection of electronic equipment against corrosion. Corrosion is influenced by a variety of factors, including the presence of moisture, airborne corrosives, "impressed currents," and more. When microcomputers were introduced, new corrosion protection solutions had to be developed for equipment exposed to outdoor or contaminated conditions. Triazole, cyclic amine nitrate salts, and cyclic amine salts give substantial protection against condensation humidity and hydrogen sulfide. Corrosion of electronic components is accelerated by cyclic amine fatty acid salts and alcohol-amine salts. They were found to be unsuccessful. Due to material and space constraints, the electrical designer has a limited number of possibilities for reducing corrosion. Because of this, environmental management becomes an essential alternative that, when handled correctly, considerably increases the equipment's service life. Using vapor phase inhibitors, metals are protected against corrosion by a chemical "conditioning" of the surrounding environment. For the electrical sector, mixed inhibitors are the best choice. Compounds that can suppress both cathodic and anodic processes are most efficient in preventing corrosion in electronic equipment, which is why they are often used.

References

Piotrowska, K., Ud Din, R., Grumsen, F. B., Jellesen, M. S., & Ambat, R. (2018). Parametric study of solder flux hygroscopicity: Impact of weak organic acids on water layer formation and corrosion of electronics. Journal of Electronic Materials, 47(7), 4190-4207.

Xu, Y. Z., Yang, L. J., He, L. M., Huang, Y., & Wang, X. N. (2016). The monitoring of galvanic corrosion behavior caused by mineral deposits in pipeline working conditions using ring form electronic resistance sensor system. Corrosion Engineering, Science and Technology, 51(8), 606-620.

Rathish, R. J., Prabha, S. S., Dorothy, R., Jancyrani, S., Rajendran, S., Singh, G., & Kumaran, S. S. (2019). Corrosion issues in the electronic equipment-an overview. International Journal of Corrosion and Scale Inhibition, 8(4), 799-815.

Kong, X., Lv, J., Gao, N., Peng, X., & Zhang, J. (2018). An experimental study of galvanic corrosion on an underwater weld joint. Journal of Coastal Research, (84 (10084)), 63-68.

Goyal, M., Kumar, S., Bahadur, I., Verma, C., & Ebenso, E. E. (2018). Organic corrosion inhibitors for industrial cleaning of ferrous and non-ferrous metals in acidic solutions: A review. Journal of Molecular Liquids, 256, 565-573.

Koochaki, M. S., Khorasani, S. N., Neisiany, R. E., Ashrafi, A., Trasatti, S. P., & Magni, M. (2021). A highly responsive healing agent for the autonomous repair of anti-corrosion coatings on wet surfaces. In operando assessment of the self-healing process. Journal of Materials Science, 56(2), 1794-1813.

Triantafyllou, G. G., Rousakis, T. C., & Karabinis, A. I. (2018). Effect of patch repair and strengthening with EBR and NSM CFRP laminates for RC beams with low, medium, and heavy corrosion. Composites Part B: Engineering, 133, 101-111.

Kausar, A. (2019). Corrosion prevention prospects of polymeric nanocomposites: A review. Journal of Plastic Film & Sheeting, 35(2), 181-202.

Hosseini, M., Fotouhi, L., Ehsani, A., & Naseri, M. (2017). Enhancement of corrosion resistance of polypyrrole using metal oxide nanoparticles: potentiodynamic and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy study. Journal of colloid and interface science, 505, 213-219.

Kim, C. U., & Chang, J. Y. (2017, May). Corrosion in a closed-loop electronic device cooling system with water as coolant and its detection. In 2017 16th IEEE Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems (ITherm) (pp. 558-564). IEEE.

Roberge, P. R. (2019). Handbook of corrosion engineering. McGraw-Hill Education.

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