Atmospheric Corrosion of Mild Steel in a Desert Environment

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Atmospheric corrosion surveys have been extensively conducted and published for urbanised and rural conditions but relatively few results have been reported for moderate terms in desert environments. This paper describes results from a site in far-western Queensland for over seven years. Corrosion loss was between one and two microns / year. Unlike other more corrosive environments there was no noticeable effect of size or orientation of coupons. Of interest was the fact that akaganéite (usually associated with marine conditions) was identified albeit in very small quantities. Trace amounts of SOx, NOx and Cl were detected. Time-of wetness was recorded as 3.3%, rainfall average is 163 mm/y although this can vary substantially, and exposed temperatures range from freezing to almost 60° C. Results are compared with rural and severe environments.

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