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Corrosion and rust inhibitors - reliable protection for workpieces
What are corrosion inhibitors?
Rusting is possibly the most common form of corrosion. The corrosion is responsible for the deterioration of many materials and machines. The inhibition of corrosion can be used to stop this process due to their exceptional ability to significantly slow down the chemical corrosion rate or even prevent corrosion altogether. Even small quantities of these chemicals are enough to achieve effective corrosion inhibition.
Properties of corrosion inhibitors
There are many different anti-corrosive methods, including oils, coatings, metals, metal oxides and other chemicals. They are permanently applied to delay or prevent corrosion. Corrosion inhibitors are mostly alkaline and are broadly divided into the following categories:
In addition to having good anti-corrosion properties, it is essential for a corrosion inhibitor to be environmentally compatible (green corrosion inhibitor) and easy to handle for customers in different concentrations.
Rust inhibitors work by actively participating in chemical reactions responsible for the corrosion process. Even though this may appear counterproductive at first glance, it is a necessary process to stop metal surfaces from rusting in the long term. Corrosion inhibitors occupy areas where rust can potentially form in order to ward it off before it can cause any damage.
Metal corrosion involves numerous electrochemical processes.
The lattice structure of metals is made up of ions arranged in a regular manner. Moisture penetration can cause the displacement of individual ions from this lattice structure. As a result, metals can combine with oxygen to form rust (metal oxides and hydroxides). Hydrogen is also involved in some of the chemical reactions.
So what can be done to slow down or prevent corrosion?
There are two ways of avoiding corrosion: You can either prevent metals from being exposed to oxygen or shield them from moisture.
Corrosion inhibitors are effective in cases where metal surfaces are exposed to water - and this is a common occurrence, as water is used frequently in water-based industrial processes and can also originate from rain, snow or dew.
Corrosion inhibitors form a thin, protective film that acts as a barrier against corrosive substances. Whether it is exposure to process water or environmental influences, anti-corrosion chemicals are used in many areas to protect workpieces or end products against rust.
- Cleaning of machines and their parts
- Additive in cooling lubricants (for high-temperature processing)
- Water treatment in cooling or heating circuits
- Anti-rust treatment of metal surfaces
- Outdoor storage of materials and electrical equipment
- Goods transport
- Goods packaging
- Operation of engines and gear mechanisms
- Pressure tests
- Leak tests
- And much more
Corrosion inhibitors are crucial for protecting objects from moisture in all these applications.
An effective corrosion inhibitor attaches itself to a metal surface, making the metal impervious to liquids. Therefore, water-soluble corrosion inhibitors are often used as additives in process fluids, cleaning agents and cooling lubricants. Nevertheless, an inhibitor must not impede the effectiveness of such fluids.
It is necessary to apply the right chemistry to ensure this is the case. A corrosion inhibitor must not chemically react with the cleaning agent in question. Selecting the right industrial chemical to start the inhibition of corrosion is therefore imperative for achieving optimal results.
The effectiveness of a cleaning agent often hinges on the pH value of the resulting solution. For example, acid cleaners are used to remove lime deposits. When used as an additive, a corrosion inhibitor must not alter the pH value of a cleaning solution. Furthermore, it must not undergo any oxidative reactions with ingredients in the cleaner, such as stabilizers, emulsifiers or other additives.
TER Chemicals can provide you with the perfect corrosion inhibition for your machines, surfaces and systems. We have the expertise to help you choose the right inhibition agent.