Galvanic corrosion is one of the most prevalent maintenance issues facing vessel owners, often leading to costly repairs and serious safety hazards. Without proper attention, galvanic corrosion can lead to extensive repairs, which could have been prevented through routine tasks such as proper washing and painting of areas of concern. By understanding the basics of galvanic corrosion prevention, you can take a proactive approach to minimize damage and ensuring the safety of staff and guests onboard your vessel.
PREVENTION OVER REPAIR
Unfortunately, galvanic corrosion is an expected challenge associated with nearly any seafaring vessel. Because of the moisture and electrolytes resulting from the constant contact between a vessel’s metallic elements and seawater, along with warmer climates vessels may find themselves in, the process of galvanic corrosion can often occur at an increased rate. However, there are a few simple guidelines that can help reduce your vessel’s risk of galvanic corrosion, potentially preventing it altogether.
Choose Materials That Have Similar Corrosion Potentials
When selecting materials, such as bolts and screws, you can minimize corrosion potential by matching elements according to metal type. For example, match the surface metal of the screw or bolt with the metal surface on which it will be fastened. Ideally, fasteners should be comprised of metal less likely to fall victim to corrosion.
Initial physical contact isn’t necessarily the cause of galvanic corrosion, especially when working with water-soluble corrosive elements. In all stages of installation, maintenance, and repair, the utmost attention should be paid to the selection and placement of materials. Confirm that your marine solutions provider has a detailed understanding of galvanic corrosion and the potential ways certain materials may interact with each other, allowing you to avoid unexpected corrosion resulting from poorly considered material placement.
Ensure Proper Insulation Between Metals
Certain metals, such as copper, are primary conductors of electricity, making them particularly susceptible to electrolysis and galvanic corrosion. Leaving these metals unprotected is a near-guarantee for extensive corrosion damage. To protect conductive metals such as these, use insulation whenever possible. Options for insulation include teflon or plastic tubing, as well as specific coatings, oils, greases, and paints.
Adequate maintenance: Washing and Painting
Key to inhibiting the rate of corrosion in general on areas such as lifeboat decks and balconies are their adequate washing, chipping and painting. Sea water that reaches these “spray” areas is massively harmful, passive metals such as aluminum are subject to stress corrosion and pitting, with cracks and erosion corrosion being visible. Areas exposed to chlorine such as pool areas and spray areas, due to the high chlorine concentration in both pool and seawater, are particularly vulnerable to this. Removing and protecting from spray is key to maintaining your vessels condition.
CARDIFF: EXPERTS IN CORROSION REPAIR
With an experienced team who focus on innovative marine solutions, Cardiff deliver a quality service to help vessels rectify areas of galvanic corrosion and avoid potential issues in the future. Because we possess a clear understanding of the science behind galvanic corrosion, the Cardiff team is highly capable of engineering advanced solutions to effectively resolve your corrosion concerns.
When you’re faced with serious aluminum corrosion or other degraded metals, you can be confident that Cardiff can overhaul the affected areas to the highest standard. In addition to implementing solutions focused on corroded steel repair and other reparations, Cardiff manufactures and supplies premium alternative products, better designed to stand up to the elements than materials traditionally used. We are experts in eliminating corrosion damage and implementing both structural and cosmetic repairs, with a focus on future galvanic corrosion prevention, ensuring a long-term fix for the ship.
Learn more about how to prevent galvanic corrosion and how we can assist your vessel with any issues it may be experiencing by contacting Cardiff today.