Home Innovation Insights

Our corrosion testing ensures the performance of metals & coatings.

Deanna Williams Seale, PE
April 5, 2022

#WillItCorrode: Key Causes For Corrosion

As a continuation of our #willitcorrode series, here's the latest installment from the Home Innovation lab team testing some everyday gadgets and household items in our salt spray chamber. While we typically test products such as nails, screws, anchor bolts, bollards, stair nosing, gutter clips, ladders, cable, baluster, hand railing, support systems for curtain walls, etc., we have decided to mix it up a little with this experiment to emphasize the practical nature of this type of testing.

Our latest household victim? A typical house key. After a month in the chamber, very little change…

#WillItCorrode: House Key. After 1 month of exposure of the house key to salt fog, results document no signs of corrosion.

The Science Behind Corrosion

Corrosion is the oxidation of metal that occurs when the metal’s atoms react with their environment. Rusting is a common form of corrosion, created when iron reacts with oxygen molecules to form iron oxide. Metals also react to other compounds in the environment, either picking up or losing electrons. Once metal atoms are charged, they become more attracted to polar molecules like water than to nearby metal atoms, and they can be pulled away. 

Saltwater speeds this process by forming an electrolyte solution. Immersing any metal in an electrolyte solution speeds up the movement of electrons and the process of corrosion. Metal does not have to be fully immersed for this process to take place; increased humidity and salt spray can provide the necessary electrolyte contacts for corrosion.

Knowing is Key

Corrosion testing is an important step in material selection of building components to determine the suitability of materials for their intended use. Manufacturers need to know how long their materials will retain a passing structural performance under expected environmental conditions. Home Innovation offers a full range of durability and weather resistance testing, including corrosion testing, to ensure the performance of metals and coatings.

Don’t corrode your customers’ confidence in your products! Get in touch today to schedule your product’s time in our salt spray chamber.


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