Corrosion is a phenomenon of nature involving the deterioration of a material (usually a metal) due to a chemical or electrochemical reaction with the environment.
In accord with this definition, virtually every material object around us corrodes or can be expected to corrode. Metallic corrosion is most evident, and that of steel is most familiar to even casual observers because it results in a brown-colored rust that leads to pitting and ultimate loss of structural strength. Of course, other metals deteriorate to varying degrees on exposure to certain environments, although the deterioration may not be as evident. Corrosion of nonmetals also occurs, and that of wood and concrete is also of great concern. This destructive material deterioration occurs to transportation vehicles (automobiles, trucks, railroad cars, etc.), bridges, pipelines of all types (water and wastewater, oil, gas, etc.), private homes and public buildings, even home appliances, electronic equipment, and—heaven forbid—personal computers and cell phones. Corrosion is all-pervasive in most environments in every region, country, and continent around the world!
ASM International has three comprehensive volumes on corrosion in its ASM Handbook series: Volume 13A, Corrosion: Fundamentals, Testing, and Protection; Volume 13B, Corrosion: Materials ; and Volume 13C, Corrosion: Environments and Industries . Corrosion carries significant costs, estimated in 2013 to be more than $450 billion annually in the United States and $2.2 trillion worldwide, according to NACE International, the global authority on corrosion.
However, by utilizing existing corrosion-prevention technologies, the cost can be drastically reduced, perhaps by one-third or more. What are those technologies? They include proper corrosion design and maintenance; the use of more resistant construction materials, such as corrosion-resistant alloys and plastics; the use of corrosion inhibitors; anodic and cathodic protection; metallic coatings; and the use of organic protective coatings. This last technology is the subject of this Volume. It is an important subject because organic protective coatings are by far the most widely used means of corrosion protection. The application and use of organic protective coatings, including zinc-rich coatings, accounted for 88.3% of all monies spent for corrosion protection in the United States, as estimated by the report “Corrosion Cost and Preventive Strategies in the United States,” FHWA-RD-01-156, issued by the Federal Highway Administration in 2002. Adjusted to the 2013 estimated cost of corrosion in the United States of $450 billion utilizing the same ratios of corrosion cost to coating protection expense used in 2002, the money spent for protective coating corrosion abatement in the United States would exceed $175 billion, or over $545 for every man, woman, and child in the United States, at the end of 2014—not a trifling sum!
This printed Volume is but a snapshot in time regarding coatings. It is not all-inclusive, as there are other areas where coatings are used and some specific types of coatings that are not covered herein. Moreover, like everything else in life these days, change is constant, and the rate of technological improvement is accelerating at an ever-increasing rate. Coatings, like all materials, have benefited greatly from the advent of nanotechnology, and superior coatings are being introduced to the market on an almost daily basis. ASM International is releasing this book not only in printed form but also in a digital format, available on the ASM International website. This makes possible future updates and additional content, so our coverage keeps pace with technology. I absolutely encourage readers to assist ASM International in keeping this Volume's digital version current with updated technology.
This Volume is organized into five divisions: Introduction (consisting of four articles); Coating Materials (nineteen articles); Surface Preparation and Coating Application (seven articles); Industrial Uses (nine articles); and Coating Analysis and Evaluation (six articles). A total of 50 authors wrote the Volume's 45 articles. I am most grateful to those authors, and their employer corporations and organizations, for the contribution of the considerable time and expertise necessary to write articles for this Volume. What a remarkable group of professionals!
I'd also like to thank Patty Conti, Production Coordinator; Kate Fornadel, Senior eProduction Coordinator; Diane Whitelaw, Production Coordinator; and Madrid Tramble, Manager, Production at ASM International for publishing this first ASM Handbook totally in color. A color production requires a lot more attention to detail than a black-and-white production, and Patty and the ASM group have pulled it off—congratulations! Others at ASM International who deserve special thanks are Steve Lampman, Senior Content Developer; Karen Marken, Senior Managing Editor; and Scott Henry, Director, Content and Knowledge-Based Solutions.
I'm indebted to Amy Nolan, Content Developer at ASM International, for helping to obtain authors and reviewers and for nagging authors (mostly me) to get their articles written on schedule. Without her, this book could not have been written.
I would also like to thank my employer, KTA-Tator, Inc., for so graciously allowing me the time to work on this Volume, as I conducted much of my work at home—although they likely felt they were better off without me at the office.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would like to thank my wife Maureen who put up with my computer rage and other frustrations while I was working at home. She is the love of my life, and, as a result of my Handbook effort, while always a beautiful woman, Maureen now has exemplary patience, resilience, and tolerance—I am truly blessed!