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Corrosion means the breaking down of essential properties in a material due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means a loss of electrons of metals reacting with water and oxygen. Weakening of iron due to oxidation of the iron atoms is a well-known example of electrochemical corrosion. This is commonly known as rust. This type of damage usually affects metallic materials, and typically produces oxide(s) and/or salt(s) of the original metal.

Corrosion also includes the dissolution of ceramic materials and can refer to discoloration and weakening of polymers by the sun's ultraviolet light.

Most structural alloys corrode merely from exposure to moisture in the air, but the process can be strongly affected by exposure to certain substances.

Corrosion can be concentrated locally to form a pit or crack, or it can extend across a wide area to produce general deterioration. While some efforts to reduce corrosion merely redirect the damage into less visible, less predictable forms, controlled corrosion treatments such as passivation and chromate-conversion will increase a material's corrosion resistance.

In deaerators provided in Thermal power stations of utilities, the maxmum possible corrossive gases, particularly Oxygen and carbon-di-oxide are removed, chemically as well as by deaeration. The manufacturers generally guarantee, that if operated properly, that dissolved gases in the deaerated water will not exceed 7 ppb by weight (0.005 cm³/L).

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