1. Introduction to Corrosion

1.1 Historical Background

There is a historical record of observation of corrosion by several writers, philosophers and scientists, however, there was little curiosity regarding the causes and mechanism of corrosion until Robert Boyle wrote about 'Mechanical Origin of Corrosiveness'

Following were the philosophers, writers and scientists who observed corrosion and mentioned it in their writings

Herodotus (5th Century BC) suggested the use of tin for protection of iron.

Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), an ancient Roman philosopher, wrote about spoiled iron.

Lomonosov (1743-1756) studied the effects of acid and heat on metals.

[  ]

Austin (1788)  noticed that neutral water becomes alkaline when it acts on iron.

Michael Faraday (1791-1865) gave the two most important laws of electrolysis which can be used to predict the rate of corrosion.

Louis Thenard (1819) was the first to suggest that corrosion is an electrochemical phenomenon.

Sir Humphrey Davy (1824) proposed a method for sacrificial protection of iron by zinc.

[  ]

Hall (1829) established that iron does not rust in the absence of oxygen.

[  ]

De la Rive (1830) suggested the existence of micro-cells on the surface of zinc.



The modern understanding of corrosion was presented by U.R. Evans, H.H. Uhlig and M.G. Fontana. The first corrosion laboratory was established at Cambridge, followed by the lab at MIT by H.H. Uhlig. (Click here to see a list of useful internet links on corrosion studies)