111 Introduction

Corrosion, environmental degradation, and rusting are terms commonly used to describe the processes that bring about a loss of performance of engineering materials. Corrosion is the term generally used to describe the chemical "wasting,"

which occurs when a metal or alloy reacts with the environment within which it is in contact. More specifically, rusting is a term describing the dissolution of iron-based alloys, notably steels. A study of corrosion requires a multidis-ciplinary approach, involving the disciplines of chemistry, physics, metallurgy, and mechanical engineering. This interdisciplinarity may well be the reason why, despite our 200+ years of awareness of the problems imposed by aggressive environments, corrosion incidents continue to occur on a daily basis.

This chapter will attempt to provide an "engineering" approach to the subject of corrosion, offering general guidance on the basic principles, forms of corrosion, methods of evaluating corrosion resistance, and design aspects. From this it is hoped that mechanical and design engineers and material selectors will be better positioned to improve the overall performance and, hence, lifetime of engineering components and structures.

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