Introduction to galvanic corrosion workshop

  • The fundamentals of galvanic reactions and the issues with mixing copper, carbon and stainless steel in pipework systems


    In building services projects there are often scenarios, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning, where dissimilar materials may be used within the pipework systems.

    Whilst this can bring benefits, such as optimised cost, material availability, weight and mechanical strength, it can increase the risk of system failure due to the potential for Galvanic Corrosion.

    Galvanic Corrosion is an electrochemical reaction which can occur when dissimilar metals, such as copper, carbon steel and stainless steel are in physical and electrical contact with each other.

    Due to the differing material potentials, one metal can act as an anode and the other as an cathode – the difference in electric potential drives the corrosion process and the anode will corrode preferentially.  This can result in performance and service life issues and even system failure in a relatively short time.

    Objective of the workshop

    This workshop will examine the fundamentals of Galvanic Corrosion and how performance and service life issues can result from using mixed metal pipework systems.

    Learning outcomes

    Attendees will gain an understanding of the root causes of pipework failures as a result of dissimilar metals being used and the associated electrochemical reactions. It will also advise how such situations can be avoided.

    Key areas covered

    • What is corrosion.
    • The galvanic series.
    • The mechanisms of galvanic corrosion.
    • Typical procurement and installation issues.

    Workshop details

    45 minute presentation provided by Cranfield University.
    15 minutes Q&A session.

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