Choose The Right Materials To Avoid Galvanic Corrosion
When dissimilar metals come into electrical contact with a conductive electrolyte (water), galvanic corrosion will occur. The more noble metal – as noted in the Galvanic Series — will corrode the less noble one.
The Galvanic Series is a list of metals arranged in order of their electrical potential in flowing seawater. The metals on the anodic, or active, end will corrode faster than the metals toward the cathodic, or passive, end.
The Galvanic Series
- ANODIC – Active
- Magnesium alloys
- Aluminum 1100, 3003, 3004, 5052, 6053
- Galvanized steel
- Aluminum 2017, 2024, 2117
- Mild Steel (1018), Wrought Iron
- Cast iron, Low alloy high strength steel
- Chrome iron (active)
- Stainless steel, 430 series (active)
- Stainless steel 302, 303, 304, 321, 347, 410, 416, (active)
- Nickel (resist)
- Stainless steel 316, 317, (active)
- Carpenter 20 CB-3 stainless (active)
- Aluminum Bronze (CA 687)
- Hastelloy C (active), Inconel 625 (active), titanium (active)
- Lead-tin solders
- Inconel 600 (active)
- Nickel (active)
- Brasses (naval, yellow, red, admiralty)
- Copper (CA102)
- Manganese bronze, tin bronze
- Silicon bronze
- Nickel silver
- Copper-nickel alloy
- 430 stainless steel
- Nickel (passive), aluminum, bronze
- Monel 400, K500
- Silver solder
- Nickel (passive)
- Chrome iron (passive)
- 302, 303, 304, 321, 347, stainless steel (passive)
- 316, 317, stainless steel (passive)
- Carpenter 20 CB-3 stainless (passive), Incoloy 825
- Nickel-molybdeum-chromium-iron alloy (passive)
- Titanium and titanium alloys
- Cathodic – Passive
Minimizing Galvanic Corrosion
Contact between dissimilar metals should always be avoided. If contact cannot be avoided, the adjacent surfaces should be painted with bituminous paint or zinc chromate primers or paints. Taping or gasketing with non-absorptive materials is also effective.
Care should be taken to prevent the wash from copper alloy surfaces onto adjacent, exposed, less noble metal surfaces, since the traces of copper salts carried in the wash can accelerate the corrosion of less noble metals.
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