Intergranular Corrosion in Breweries


Background

This type of corrosion is very relevant for the brewery industry. It consists of a localized attack, where a narrow path is corroded out preferentially along grain boundaries of a metal [1]. This type of corrosion may have extreme effects on mechanical properties, resulting in a loss of strength and ductility [2].

Mechanism

The push-factor behind this rapid attack is the difference in corrosion potential between the grain boundary and the bulk material in adjacent grains; it proceeds at the surface via local cell action. A grain boundary material of limited area acts as the anode while large areas of grain act as the cathode [2].

The following images show examples of intergranular corrosion:


Figure 1: Intergranular corrosion inside steel pipe (3)
Figure 1: Intergranular corrosion inside steel pipe (3)


Figure 2: Microscopic image of intergranular corrosion (4)
Figure 2: Microscopic image of intergranular corrosion (4)



Figure 3: Severe corrosion on weld interface (5)
Figure 3: Severe corrosion on weld interface (5)


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Reference


[1] P. Roberge, Corrosion Engineering: Principles and practice. USA: McHGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 2008.

[2] H.H. Uhlig and R.W. Revie, Corrosion and corrosion control, 3rd ed. USA: John Wiley and Sons, 1985, pp.1-2.

[3] Cdcorrosion.com, [Online]. Available: http://www.cdcorrosion.com/mode_corrosion/corrosion_image/intergranulaire_soom.jpg. [Accessed Nov. 28, 2009].


[4] Corrosionsource.com, [Online]. Available: http://www.corrosionsource.com/technicallibrary/corrdoctors/Modules/Forms/images/qete1.jpg. [Accessed Nov. 28, 2009].

[5] Materialsengineer.com, [Online]. Available: http://www.materialsengineer.com/dup%20image/corrosion12.JPG. [Accessed Nov. 28, 2009].