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Table of Contents 1.0 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 2 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 CORROSION ...................................................................................................................... 2 EFFECTS OF CORROSION ON STEEL ...........................................................................

3 OPTIMAL PH LEVEL FOR STEEL CONSTRUCTION .................................................. 3 PREVENTION OF STEEL FROM ACIDS AND OTHER AGENTS OF THE

ENVIRONMENT ........................................................................................................................... 4 5.1 5.2 5.3 COATING ........................................................................................................................ 4 WATER TO CEMENT RATIO ....................................................................................... 5 PAINTING ....................................................................................................................... 6

6.0 CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................................... 6 7.0 REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................... 7

David Sakala

09181643

Building Science 3

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1.0 INTRODUCTION The consideration of a ph level is one of the cardinal things to look at when intending to build a structure using steel portal frames. A ph level less than seven (7) is acidic while that greater than seven (7) is basic and seven is neutral, that is, it is neither acidic nor basic. However, in this context the ph of a piece of land on which construction using steel portal frames is to be carried out is 5.5. This actually signify an acidic environment, hence the following shall be looked at: Definition of corrosion with particular attention to its effect on steel Determination of the ph level which is optimal for steel construction Ways of protecting steel from acid and other agents of the environment. This will actually look at; coating, cement to water ratio and painting.

2.0

CORROSION

In order to answer the question what is Corrosion? It is necessary to understand how corrosion works and why metals are affected by corrosion. Most metals used in the construction, steel, stainless steel grades, copper, are subject to corrosion. This is due to the high energy content of the elements in metallic form. In nature, most metals are found in chemical combination with other elements; these metallic ores are refined by man and formed into metals and alloys. However, Microsoft Encarta dictionary (2009) defines corrosion as the partial or complete wearing away, dissolving, or softening of any substance by chemical or electrochemical reaction with its environment. The term corrosion specifically applies to the gradual action of natural agents, such as air or salt water, on metals. The term corrosion is sometimes applied to the degradation of plastics, concrete and wood, but generally refers to metals. The most widely used metal is steel.

David Sakala

09181643

Building Science 3

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3.0

EFFECTS OF CORROSION ON STEEL Reduction of steel thickness leading to loss of mechanical strength and structural failure or breakdown. When the metal is lost in localized zones so as to give a crack like structure, very considerable weakening may result from quite a small amount of metal loss. Hazards or injuries to people arising from structural familiar or breakdown (e.g. bridges, cars, aircrafts, buildings etc.). The failure of steel in buildings can also result in damage to property as well as the materials used in the construction of the building itself. This is one of the most dangerous of the effects of the failure of steel Perforation of steel vessels and pipes allowing escape of their contents and possible to the surroundings. For example, a leaky domestic radiator can cause expensive damage to carpets and decoration, while corrosion sea water may enter the boilers of a power station if the condenser tubes perforate. Added complexity and expense of equipment which need to be designed to withstand a certain amount of corrosion, and to allow corroded components to be conveniently replaced. Mechanical damage to valves, pumps, etc., or blockage of pipes by solid products. Loss of technically important surface properties of a metallic component. These include frictional and bearing properties and ease of fluid flow over a pipe surface, electrical conductivity of contacts, surface reflectivity or heat transfer across a surface.(P Ashworth, TJJ Smith, H Charlton, corrosion and protection/ BM)

4.0

OPTIMAL PH LEVEL FOR STEEL CONSTRUCTION

Concrete has low strength when loaded in tension; hence, it is common practice to reinforce concrete for improved tensile mechanical properties. In fact, many buildings, roads, bridges, and parking structures would be impossible to build without reinforced concrete. Steel is one of the many building materials used in construction today; it is generally the preferred option for reinforcing concrete due to its durability and strength, although, when steel corrodes and degrades, the structure can become compromised and tragedy can occur.
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Concrete is a highly alkaline material with a pH of 12-13. When steel rebar is used in construction, the high alkalinity of concrete creates a passive film around the rebar, which protects it from corrosion. However, when water containing chloride ions penetrate concrete and reach the steel, pH levels falls and destroy the protective barrier. This can cause the steel to rust and expand, cracking concrete and degrading the strength and quality of the structure. Hence, a ph level between 7 and 14 is optimum for steel construction. (Jones, Denny Principles and Prevention of Corrosion (2nd edition Ed.)

5.0

PREVENTION OF STEEL FROM ACIDS AND OTHER AGENTS OF THE ENVIRONMENT

5.1

COATING

Ceramic: Because ceramic materials are harder and have better corrosion resistance than most metals, manufacturers often coat metal with ceramic enamel. Manufacturers apply ceramic enamel by injecting a compressed gas containing ceramic powder into the flame of a hydrocarbon-oxygen torch burning at about 2500 C (about 4500 F). The semimolten powder particles adhere to the metal, cooling to form hard enamel. Household appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, and dryers, are often coated with ceramic enamel. (Ceramic." Microsoft Encarta 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft) Cladding: this is the metallurgical process for bonding layers of the same or different metals. The resulting combination may have properties of strength, conductivity, corrosion resistance, or economy not available in a pure metal or alloy. One example of a clad metal is so-called rolled gold, which consists of a brass or steel core with a layer of gold on the outside. Cladded aircraft components may have a thick layer of strong aluminum alloy in the center and thin outer layers of corrosion-resistant pure aluminum sheets. The various layers, or plies, of metal usually are heated and rolled together. Other cladding methods include casting, welding, and pouring molten metal around a hardened core. In addition to sheets and strips, clad metals are produced in wires, bars, and tubing. (Cladding." Microsoft Encarta 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft)

Electroplating: electrochemical process for depositing a thin layer of metal on, usually, a metallic base. Objects are electroplated to prevent corrosion, to obtain a hard surface or attractive
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finish, to purify metals (as in the electro refining of copper), to separate metals for quantitative analysis, or, as in electrotyping, to reproduce a form from a mold. Cadmium, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, silver, and tin are the metals most often used in plating. Typical products of electroplating are silver-plated tableware, chromium-plated automobile accessories, and tinplated food containers. (Electroplating." Microsoft Encarta 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft) galvanizing: Galvanizing is the process of coating a base metal, such as iron or steel, with a thin layer of zinc to protect the base metal from corrosion. Zinc is applied with greater ease and at lower cost than other metallic coatings such as tin, chromium, nickel, or aluminum. The zinc layer protects the base metal even when there are cracks or small gaps in the coating, because oxygen reacts more readily with zinc than with the exposed base metal. The most widely used method of galvanizing is the hot dip process. The iron or other base metal is pickled (immersed in acid) to remove dust, dirt, and grease. It is then washed and dipped into the spelter, that is, molten zinc. In a different galvanizing process known as sherardizing, the article to be galvanized is covered with zinc dust and heated in a tightly closed drum for several hours at 300 to 420 C (572 to 788 F). Other methods of galvanizing include depositing the zinc electrolytically and applying molten zinc in the form of a fine spray. Some examples of commonly galvanized products are garbage cans, corrugated sheets for roofing, iron pipe, and fencing wire. (Galvanizing." Microsoft Encarta 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft) 5.2 WATER TO CEMENT RATIO

The greatest defense against the corrosion of steel in concrete is to start with high-quality concrete. Concrete should have a water-to-cementitious-material ratio (w/c) that is low enough to slow down the penetration of chloride salts and the development of carbonation. The w/c ratio should be less than 0.50 to slow down the rate of carbonation and less than 0.40 to minimize the risk of chloride infiltration. There are various means of reducing the permeability of concrete and producing concrete with a low w/c ratio, such as increasing the cement content in the concrete, adding a crystalline waterproofing product to the concrete mix, using large amounts of fly ash or other cementitious

David Sakala

09181643

Building Science 3

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materials that act as corrosion inhibitors, and limiting the amount of ingredients that contain chloride. When water containing chloride ions penetrate concrete and reach the steel, it destroys the protective barrier (a passive film around the rebar) which the high alkalinity of concrete creates, which protects it from corrosion. This penetration of water containing chloride ions cause the steel to rust and expand, cracking concrete and degrading the strength and quality of the structure. (Jones, Denny Principles and Prevention of Corrosion (2nd edition Ed.) 5.3 PAINTING

Paint coats usually comprise of binders that carry pigments, and may also contain some solvents which are harden either by oxidative polymerization (a combination with the oxygen in the atmosphere to form convertible coatings) or by evaporation of solvents to form non-convertible coatings. They should be effective barriers to water and air, should have good properties of adhesion to the substrate (steel), be consistent through their thickness and be proven good in terms of performance (Y. Dean, 1973).

6.0 CONCLUSION In conclusion, corrosion can be defined as the partial or complete wearing away, dissolving, or softening of any substance by chemical or electrochemical reaction with its environment. Corrosion results in; reduction in steel thickness, hazards, perforation of steel vessels and pipes, added complexity and expense of equipment, mechanical damage and loss of technically important surface properties. The optimum ph level for steel construction ranges from seven (7) to fourteen (14). This is so due to the bases ability to provide steel with a coating which protects it from corrosion. The point at issue here is the prevention of the penetration of water containing chloride ions from getting into contact with steel which can result in corrosion. Moreover, steel can be protected from corrosion through: coating, reducing the water to cement ratio and painting.

David Sakala

09181643

Building Science 3

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7.0 REFERENCES 1. Dean, Y. (1973). Mitchell's Materials Technology. England: Pearson Education Ltd, Edinbugh Gate-Harlow. 2. Jones, & Denny. (1996). Principles and Prevention of Corrosion (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 3. Kristoff, S. (2009, August 18). Introduction To Corrosion. Retrieved from Google: www.ask.com 4. Krystol. (2008, November). Arab Construction World. Retrieved from Google: http//www.google.com 5. Metthews, P. (1972). Advanced Chemistry. UK, UK: Low Price Edition. 6. Parks Chief, D. M. (2003). Protection Against Steel Corrosion. Corrosion Technology Branch. 7. Microsoft encarta premium, (2009).

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Building Science 3

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09181643

Building Science 3

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