Corrosion Prevention - Humidity Control is the Key | Bry-Air
BryairArticlesCorrosion Causes and Prevention

Corrosion Causes and Prevention

Bry-Air understands the critical importance of corrosion prevention in major industries. Corrosion remains a disruptive problem that not only leads to production breakdowns, equipment failures, and serious safety issues but also increases a company’s capital expenditure. It is, therefore, highly crucial to implement corrosion prevention techniques to protect your plant and machinery.

What is corrosion?

Rust CorrosionCorrosion is the deterioration of an exposed material (usually a metal) due to chemical, electrochemical, and other reactions with its surrounding environment. Numerous factors add complexity to the equation, it is, however, a controllable process. Often moisture in the air and the gases are the biggest culprits. These elements combine to create acids that corrode the metal, leading to rust and other forms of degradation of the metals. Rust is one of the most familiar examples of corrosion that causes irreversible damage to a variety of metals and affects almost every industry.

The most effective way of corrosion prevention in materials is to understand the causes of corrosion and how they work to create rust on surfaces. There are many different factors that can come into play in the process of corrosion. Once you understand the types of corrosion and what causes them, you are in a better position to begin trying to make the material corrosion-resistant.

Corrosion Causes

Corrosion Prevention for Corrosion IndustryUncontrolled humidity and corrosive gases are the primary causes of corrosion in industrial environments. Condensation of water vapor on metal surfaces and corrosive gases such as ammonia, chlorine, hydrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, etc. can result in corrosion of electronic equipment, rusty corners, and corroded parts. Sustained exposure to humid conditions in combination with polluted air increases corrosion rate and can deteriorate costly & sensitive equipment.

The most common type of corrosion is the formation of rust, or Iron Oxide, on the surface of metals containing iron when they come into contact with Oxygen.

Corrosion can also occur with metals such as steel are placed under too much stress and the material begins to crack. Hydrogen exposure can also cause the metal to corrode in much the same way that Oxygen does. Metals that are exposed to electrical currents can begin to experience electronic corrosion. Metals that are exposed to dirt and bacteria can also begin to show signs of corrosion.

Because there are so many different causes for corrosion of materials, it is important to understand that rust inhibitors will no work for every situation. A vapor or water barrier material will obviously not protect the metal from exposure to continued electric currents or bacteria.

Corrosion problems are Moisture Problems

Bearing Corrosion - Corrosion problems are Moisture ProblemsCorrosion does not occur in dry air. It is the invisible water vapor in the air, which is the cause of rusty bolts, corroded parts. It is a major industrial foe of product quality and storage. A certain amount of water vapor has been always present in the air. This water vapor or moisture in the air is measured in terms of relative humidity.

The basic problem arises from the fact that water vapor will condense, on any surface, colder than the dew point temperature of the surrounding air mass.

Accelerating and Intensifying Factors of Corrosion

In the pure air, almost no iron corrosion occurs, at relative humidities even up to 99%. But with contaminants such as sulfur dioxide or solid particles of the charcoal present, corrosion could proceed at relative humidities of 45% or above. However, pure air is seldom encountered in practice.

The critical humidity level which is at 45%, is approximately the same for clear and polluted air. However, the rate of corrosion is faster where surfaces are exposed to polluted air in combination with high relative humidity.

How Corrosion is Prevented? 

For corrosion prevention, we need to maintain specific relative humidity and temperature in a controlled space. So that the products or material in the controlled space cannot absorb moisture from the surrounding atmosphere. As a general rule, we can protect rust and other oxidizing type corrosion reactions if we maintain the relative humidity in the area below 40% relative humidity. We do not need to coat materials or products residing in this atmosphere with oil or other surface protection to keep them in a ready-to-use condition.

Bry-Air Solutions for Preventing Corrosion

Bry-Air Desiccant Dehumidifiers and Gas Phase Filtration Systems enable smooth operation of electronic equipment, turbines, data centers, server rooms, control rooms, precision control systems, etc.

Corrosion prevention is done through dehumidification to prevent deterioration of equipment. Dehumidifiers restrict relative humidity, maintain optimum conditions, and give you the proper solution for corrosion prevention.

Gas Phase Filtration Systems remove contaminants and corrosive gases through the process of adsorption and chemisorption. Bry-Air has a wide range of propriety chemical media known as the BrySorb series. During chemisorption, the chemical media converts harmful gases from the air into harmless materials.

Bry-Air first conducts Air Quality Assessments in a facility to gauge the overall corrosion potential of an environment. Based on the assessment it provides the ideal solution suited to meet your requirements as well as industry standards.

Benefits of Bry-Air Dehumidifiers and Gas Phase Filtration Systems:

  • Effective corrosion prevention and high process efficiency
  • Reduced maintenance, service, and equipment replacement costs
  • Greater revenue through consistent production


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