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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Copper Pipe Pitting & Hydrogen Sulfide?

There seems to be an appreciable causal relationship.

Areas where there is appreciable amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) have been shown to exhibit a higher propensity of pipe pitting. Consider:


In environments with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) corrosion, the most common types include uniform corrosion, pitting corrosion, corrosion fatigue, sulfide stress cracking, hydrogen blistering, hydrogen embrittlement, and stepwise cracking. For more on the theory and mechanisms for each corrosion type, go to the theory page. 1

Signs of hydrogen sulfide corrosion is depicted in one example as shallow round pits with etched bottoms.

This phenomenon is actually documented and even has a name - Hydrogen Sulfide Corrosion Cracking (HSCC). Pitting is a known effect of HSCC.2 In this study, the introduction of chlorine as a catalyst is documented. Note that our water is highly chlorinated.

It is suggested that university-level chemists and researchers explore this possibility.

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References:
1. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
http://octane.nmt.edu/waterquality/corrosion/H2S.htm
2. Effect of Structure and Strength on the Corrosion Resistance of Corrosion-resistant Steels and Alloys in Media Containing Hydrogen Sulfide and Chlorine Ions. Fel`dgandler, E.G. ; Svistunova, T.V.
http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=381327

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