Corrosion – Its Causes and Prevention in Heating & Cooling Systems

corroded condensing boiler

Corrosion is a natural electrochemical process with anodic and cathodic partial reactions. Corrosion can be general or localised, with localised corrosion usually being more damaging. In waters of near neutral pH, dissolved oxygen concentration determines primarily the type and rate of corrosion. Corrosion is also influenced by other factors such as temperature, water composition and flow.


In once-through heating and cooling systems, relatively high dissolved oxygen concentrations mean that material selection is more critical. In closed recirculating systems, care should be taken to minimise oxygen ingress. However, oxygen ingress may still occur leading to build up of corrosion products, which give rise to several problems. This can be prevented or minimised by use of properly designed corrosion inhibitors.

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