Chemical Inhibitors for Corrosion Control
To reduce the corrosion rate of a metal exposed to that environment, a corrosion inhibitor may be used. An inhibitor is a substance that slows down a chemical or corrosion reaction.
Corrosion inhibitors are commonly added in small amounts to acids, cooling waters, steam, and many other environments, either continuously or intermittently to reduce the intensity of corrosion. They are generally applied to clean surfaces and allowed to penetrate and dry. And while they may be highly effective, many inhibitors are also toxic therefore precautions are important to protect one’s personal safety and the environment.
Inhibition can be used internally with carbon steel pipes and vessels as an economical corrosion control alternative to stainless steels and alloys, coatings, or non-metallic composites, and can often be implemented without disrupting a process. Inhibitors can also be used to protect against the corrosion of reinforced steel bars (rebar) within concrete.
As they are used to control serious corrosion in aggressive environments -- including those with acids, cooling waters, and steam -- major businesses using corrosion inhibitors include oil and gas exploration and production, petroleum refining, chemical manufacturing, heavy manufacturing, water treatment, and the product additive industries.