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Corrosion, while silent and often subtle, is probably the most significant cause of physical deterioration and degradation in man-made structures. The 2004 global direct cost of corrosion, representing costs experienced by owners and operators of manufactured equipment and systems, was estimated to be $990 billion United States dollars (USD) annually, or 2.0% of the $50 trillion (USD) world gross domestic product (GDP) [1]. The 2004 global indirect cost of corrosion, representing costs assumed by the end user and the overall economy, was estimated to be $940 billion (USD) annually [1]. On this basis, the total cost of corrosion to the global economy in 2004 was estimated to be approximately $1.9 trillion (USD) annually, or 3.8% of the world GDP. The largest contribution to this cost comes from the United States at 31%. The next largest contributions were Japan, 6%; Russia, 6%; and Germany, 5%.

ASM Handbook Volume 13C, Corrosion: Environments and Industries (published in 2006), is the third and final volume of the three-volume update, revision, and expansion of Metals Handbook, 9th edition, Volume 13, Corrosion, published in 1987. The first volume—Volume 13A, Corrosion: Fundamentals, Testing, and Protection—was published in 2003. The second volume—Volume 13B, Corrosion: Materials—was published in 2005. These three volumes together present the current state of corrosion knowledge, the efforts to mitigate corrosion's effects on society's structures and economies, and a perspective on future trends in corrosion prevention and mitigation. Metals remain the primary focus of the Handbook. However, nonmetallic materials occupy a more prominent position, reflecting their wide and effective use to solve problems of corrosion and their frequent use with metals in complex engineering systems. Wet (or aqueous) corrosion remains the primary environmental focus, but dry (or gaseous) corrosion is also addressed, reflecting the increased use of elevated- or high-temperature operations in engineering systems, particularly energy-related systems, where corrosion and oxidation are important considerations.

Volume 13C recognizes, as did Volumes 13A and 13B, the diverse range of materials, environments, and industries affected by corrosion, the global reach of corrosion practice, and the levels of technical activity and cooperation required to produce cost-effective, safe, and environmentally-sound solutions to materials problems. As we worked on this project, we marveled at the spread of corrosion technology into the many and diverse areas of engineering, industry, and human activity. It attests to the effectiveness of the pioneers of corrosion research and education, and of the organizations they helped to create, in communicating the principles and experience of corrosion to an ever-widening audience. Over 50% of the articles in Volume 13C are new. Looking back over the three volumes, 45% of the articles are new to the revised Handbook, reflecting changes occurring in the field of corrosion over the intervening 20 years. Authors from 14 countries contributed articles to the three Handbook volumes.

Volume 13C is organized into two major Sections addressing the performance of materials in specific classes of environments and their performance in the environments created by specific industries. These Sections recognize that materials respond to the laws of chemistry and physics and that, within the constraints of design and operating conditions, corrosion can be minimized to provide economic, environmental, and safety benefits.

The first Section is “Corrosion in Specific Environments,” addressing distinct classes of environments where knowledge of the general attributes of the environment provides a “generic” framework for understanding and solving corrosion problems. By the nature of this approach, solutions to problems of corrosion performance and corrosion protection are viewed as spanning industries. The specific environments addressed in Volume 13C are fresh water, marine (both atmospheric and aqueous), underground, and military, with an eclectic mix of other environments included under specialized environments.

The second Section is “Corrosion in Specific Industries,” addressing corrosion performance and corrosion protection in distinct environments created by specific industries. The specific industries addressed in Volume 13C are nuclear power, fossil energy and alternative fuels, petroleum and petrochemical, land transportation, commercial aviation, microelectronics, chemical processing, pulp and paper, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and medical technology, building, and mining and mineral processing. Corrosion issues in the energy sector receive considerable attention in this Section. In addition, there is substantial overlap between this Section and topics addressed in military environments in the first Section.

Supporting material is provided at the back of the Handbook. A “Corrosion Rate Conversion” includes conversions in both nomograph and tabular form. The “Metric Conversion Guide” gives conversion factors for common units and includes SI prefixes. “Abbreviations and Symbols” provides a key to common acronyms, abbreviations, and symbols used in the Handbook.

Many individuals contributed to Volume 13C. In particular, we wish to recognize the efforts of the following individuals who provided leadership in organizing subsections of the Handbook (listed in alphabetical order):

Chairperson Subsection title 
Alain A. Adjorlolo Corrosion in Commercial Aviation 
Vinod S. Agarwala Corrosion in Military Environments 
Hira Ahluwalia Corrosion in the Chemical Processing Industry 
Denise A. Aylor Corrosion in Marine Environments 
Bernard S. Covino, Jr. Corrosion in Specialized Environments 
Stephen D. Cramer Corrosion in Fresh Water Environments 
Corrosion in Specialized Environments 
Corrosion in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology Industries 
Harry Dykstra Corrosion in the Pulp and Paper Industry 
Dawn Eden Corrosion in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industry 
Barry Gordon Corrosion in the Nuclear Power Industry 
Donald L. Jordan Corrosion in the Land Transportation Industries 
Russell Kane Corrosion in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industry 
Brajendra Mishra Corrosion in the Mining and Metal Processing Industries 
Bert Moniz Corrosion in the Food and Beverage Industry 
Seshu Pabbisetty Corrosion in the Microelectronics Industries 
Kevin T. Parker Corrosion in Underground Environments 
Larry Paul Corrosion in the Fossil and Alternative Fuel Industries 
Robert L. Ruedisueli Corrosion in Marine Environments 
John E. Slater Corrosion in the Building Industry 

These knowledgeable and dedicated individuals generously devoted considerable time to the preparation of the Handbook. They were joined in this effort by more than 200 authors who contributed their expertise and creativity in a collaboration to write and revise the articles in the Handbook, and by the many reviewers of their articles. These volunteers built on the contributions of earlier Handbook authors and reviewers who provided the solid foundation on which the present Handbook rests.

For articles revised from the 1987 edition, the contribution of the previous author is acknowledged at the end of the article. This location in no way diminishes their contribution or our gratitude. Authors responsible for the current revision are named after the title. The variation in the amount of revision is broad. The many completely new articles presented no challenge for attribution, but assigning fair credit for revised articles was more problematic. The choice of presenting authors' names without comment or with the qualifier “Revised by” is solely the responsibility of the ASM staff.

We thank ASM International and the ASM staff for their skilled support and valued expertise in the production of this Handbook. In particular, we thank Charles Moosbrugger, Gayle Anton, Diane Grubbs, and Scott Henry for their encouragement, tactful diplomacy, and many helpful discussions. We are most grateful to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (formerly the Albany Research Center), U.S. Department of Energy, for the support and flexibility in our assignments that enabled us to participate in this project. We especially thank our supervisors, Jeffrey A. Hawk and Cynthia A. Powell, for their gracious and generous encouragement throughout the project.


R. Bhaskaran, N. Palaniswamy, N.S. Rengaswamy, and M. Jayachandran, “Global Cost of Corrosion—A Historical Review,” Corrosion: Materials, Vol 13B, ASM Handbook, ASM International, Materials Park OH, 2005, p 621–628.

Stephen D. Cramer, FNACE
Bernard S. Covino, Jr., FNACE
National Energy Technology Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy

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