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Material properties

Checklist on how to avoid corrosion

The properties of aluminium make the light metal an outstanding construction material from a sustainability perspective. Here are some pointers on how you can overcome corrosion problems.

When it is used correctly, aluminium has a longer lifespan than most other construction materials, including carbon steel, galvanized steel and copper. Its durability is excellent. It is also generally superior to the other materials in highly sulphurous and marine atmospheres.

Here is a checklist on how corrosion problems can be overcome:

Profile design. The design of the profile should promote drying – good drainage. You should avoid having unprotected aluminium in lengthy contact with stagnant water, and avoid pockets where dirt can collect and then keep the material wet for long periods of time.

pH values. pH values lower than 4 and higher than 9 should be avoided.

Galvanic corrosion. In severe environments, especially those with high chloride content, attention must be paid to the risk of galvanic corrosion. In such areas, some form of insulation between aluminium and more noble metals, such as copper or stainless steel, is recommended.

Closed systems (liquid). In closed, liquid-containing systems, inhibitors can often be used to provide corrosion protection.

Severe, wet environments. Cathodic protection should be considered in difficult, wet environments.

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