Accelerated Corrosion Testing using a Salt Spray Chamber

Accelerated Corrosion Testing using a Salt Spray Chamber

Accelerated Corrosion Testing using a Salt Spray Chamber

The Cyclic Corrosion Test Chamber is a standardized and popular equipment used to conduct corrosion testing i.e. check corrosion resistance of materials and surface coatings.

In fact Salt Spray Testing is an accelerated corrosion test that artificially produces a corrosive attack on metallic substances or coated samples. The purpose of the test is to evaluate resistance to corrosion and suitability of the coating for use as a protective finish. The appearance of corrosion (rust or other oxides) is evaluated during a pre-determined period of time. The duration of the test is defined by the corrosion resistance of the coating; generally, the more resistant the coating, the longer the period of testing before the appearance of corrosion/ rust.

One of the most widespread and long established corrosion tests, a salt spray test is a method that uses high-saline environments in order to measure the corrosion resistance of a diverse range of products, paints and coatings, over extended periods of time.

Basically, a salt spray test chamber in a closed unit that can be adjusted to create a variety of corrosive environments. During testing, samples are subjected to a specified salt concentration for specified time duration - based on the product type, purpose of use or industry standards.

In a typical salt spray test chamber, a standardized solution of 5% NaCl (sodium chloride) is used to create a highly corrosive atmosphere. For products with additional requirements, the environmental conditions, like temperature and humidity, can be adjusted to simulate specific climates or working conditions.

Samples are then, checked at regular intervals to monitor corrosion levels and record any significant changes, such as appearance of white and red rust or coating degradation. At the end of the test period a detailed test report, including descriptions of each stage of testing, from start to finish, is provided.

Salt Spray Test Chambers are popularly used because cyclic corrosion testing is relatively inexpensive, quick, well standardized and reasonably repeatable.

Besides being used to predict the corrosion resistance of a coating, a Salt Spray Chamber can also be used to maintain coating processes such as pre-treatment and painting, electroplating, galvanizing, and the like, on a comparative basis. For instance, pre-treated + painted components must pass 96 hours Neutral Salt Spray Test to be accepted for production. Failure to comply implies instability in the chemical process of the pre-treatment or the paint quality. This must be addressed immediately, so that the upcoming batches are of the desired quality.

The principle application of the salt spray test is to enable quick comparisons between the actual and expected corrosion resistance. Most commonly, the time taken for oxides to appear on the samples under test is compared to expectations, to determine whether the test is passed or failed. For this reason the salt spray chamber is most often used in a quality control audits. It can be deployed to check the effectiveness of a production process, such as the surface coating of a metallic part. In order to predict how materials or surface coatings will resist corrosion in the real-world, a cyclic corrosion test chamber is better suited.

An important testing machine used specially in the automotive industry, Cyclic Corrosion Test Chamber, accelerates real-world corrosion failures, under laboratory controlled conditions. The test comprises of subjecting the samples to different climates which are cycled automatically, so the samples undergo the same sort of changes as in the environment that would be encountered in the natural world. The intention is to bring about the type of failure that might occur naturally, but more quickly i.e. accelerated. Thus, Salt Spray Chambers and Cyclic Corrosion Test Chambers allow manufacturers and suppliers to accurately predict the service life expectancy of their products.

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