Review # 2

February, 2007

Principles of Corrosion Engineering and Corrosion Control
By Zaki Ahmad, Elsevier, 2006, 656 pages, (ISBN -13:978-0-7506-5924-6)

Reviewed by Patricia P. Paulette, Ph.D.

Dr. Paulette has over twenty years experience as a research scientist at a prominent National Laboratory in the United States.  Her studies include both fundamental and engineering aspects of corrosion processes.  She has authored over 50 publications and presentations and provided short courses in the field.  She maintains a current awareness and association with leading researchers and new developments in Corrosion Science and its application to materials survivability.

            Natural processes of decay underlie the unremitting deterioration of materials and structures (corrosion) supporting the foundations, activities, and growth of industrialized nations.  Increasingly we become critically aware that these processes also pose a significant threat to human safety and life.  Recent studies have shown that costs related to corrosion have more than tripled in the last twenty-five years, and for most industrialized nations make up 3.5-4.5% of the gross national product. Given this situation the study of Corrosion Science and Engineering for the purposes of implementing corrosion control in existing and new structures is an important area of concern for materials engineers supporting national interests.   

            Corrosion processes are complex electrochemical systems, and because they are keenly material (composition) and environmentally dependent do not give way to generalized approaches for manipulation and control.   To apply functional methods aimed at preventing, moderating, and diminishing these processes, it would be necessary to have an understanding of both fundamental electrochemical principles as well as the principles supporting sound engineering practices and design.  It is in this combined domain that Dr. Ahmadís textbook fills a requisite niche as a complete and comprehensive course text, heretofore unavailable under one cover.

            In the first three chapters of the text Dr. Ahmad discusses the basic concepts and fundamental electrochemical aspects of reactions underlying materials decay.  This material is discussed with clear, concise, and thorough development of topical areas, and is supported by numerous references to respected literature in electrochemistry.  The diagrams and charts chosen to illustrate the text are to be commended for clarity and conciseness.  A glossary of terms is provided for each chapter, providing ready reference material.  Many illustrative problems and solutions provide excellent pedagogical examples emphasizing core computational methods for each topic. Solutions to end of chapter questions are available from an on-line solutions manual.

            The remainder of the book concerns the more practical, engineering aspects of  corrosion, including explanations of the various types of corrosion observed (uniform, galvanic, crevice, pitting, stress corrosion etc.) and comprehensive discussions of  various methods that can be applied for  corrosion control (cathodic protection, inhibition, coatings, corrosion control by design, materials selection, atmospheric corrosion, boiler corrosion, and concrete corrosion).  Dr. Ahmad supports these discussions through numerous references to seminal literature by researchers and practitioners in the field.  Of particular value are the Case Histories presented in Chapter 4 providing assessments, analysis, and recommended methods of corrosion prevention applied to actual failures. 

             In writing this book, Dr Ahmad has undertaken a formidable effort to unify two important aspects of corrosion, and in so doing draws informed attention to methods for its prevention and control.  Based on his experience, unquestionable knowledge, and fortitude he has accomplished his task with great success.  This book is likely to be appreciated as a comprehensive text for university level courses in the field, and as a valuable source of catalogued information for scientists and engineers addressing a problem recognized to present a considerable drain on the resources of all nations and territories.