Why use corrosion inhibitors?
Components of heating systems are exposed to natural processes that cause their degradation. The most dangerous process is corrosion of metal components. Over time, rust can cause damage to the device or entire system. To prevent it, it is worth using corrosion inhibitors. Find out what these substances are and how they work to protect your systems from damage.
What is corrosion?
Corrosion can best ne described as an oxidation process. It affects most metals, but with different effects. In the case of aluminium, a layer of aluminium oxide (corroded material) remains on the surface and forms a protective layer that prevents further corrosion.
Corrosion is most dangerous in the case of iron and steel. The oxidising metal forms rust with a reddish colour. As it is not permanently bonded to the metal, it can be washed away or simply peel off. Oxidation processes take place all the time and may lead to complete degradation of the material.
The corrosion process requires oxygen, which is present in the air and water. Hence, practically all metal components are at constant risk of oxidation. Substances that can reduce or even prevent this process are called corrosion inhibitors.
What are corrosion inhibitors?
Corrosion inhibitors are a wide range of agents that prevent or slow down the oxidation process. As various processes may lead to corrosion, there are several inhibitors that work based on different principles.
The most common problem is electrochemical corrosion that occurs in water-based systems. Due to potential difference, metal behaves like an anode, resulting in increased oxidation. This is due to the fact that iron particles with a positive charge pass into the water, where they combine with oxygen. What are the most commonly used types of inhibitors?
When buying a corrosion inhibitor, it is recommended to take into account the type of system where it is to be used. Apart from general-purpose solutions, there are also inhibitors that have been designed to operate in specific conditions. You should specify whether the product will be used in heating or cooling systems. Another factor that has to be taken into account is water hardness (which determines the amount of undissolved deposits). Another specific group are steam systems, which operate at significantly higher temperatures.
- Anodic inhibitors act on steel, forming a thin oxide layer which prevent the migration of positively charged particle.
- In turn, cathodic inhibitors cause the precipitation of hydroxides and carbonates from deposits in the water, neutralising the pH of the solution and inhibiting electrochemical processes.
- Adsorption inhibitors bind to particles and ions on the metal surface, forming a separating layer on the inner part of the pipes. Such compounds as amines and silicates are used for this purpose.
Protect your system and prolong its service life
Protecting heating systems from corrosion is very important. Oxidation often results in extensive damage to pipes and equipment. To prevent it, it is worth using corrosion inhibitors. The most common inhibitor types are all-purpose agents that can be successfully used in both heating and cooling systems. In the case of heat pumps, you should choose inhibitors for heating systems. If you are not sure, which one will be best in your case, give us a call. We will help you decide which inhibitor is best for your needs
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