A closeup of a metal pipe that is heavily rusted and corroded at the end

What Causes Metal Corrosion?

For any metal to be used in a particular industry, it must possess a few important qualities. Superior strength and durability give way for metals like iron and aluminum to be popular for many applications. However, there’s one quality that is arguably more important than any other for metal to have – corrosion resistance! If your metal doesn’t have good corrosion resistance, it’s likely that it won’t last long in the field. In order to understand why corrosion resistance is so important, you should know what causes metal to corrode in the first place. We explain all the causes of metal corrosion below!

Defining Corrosion

In order to understand what causes metals to corrode in the first place, you should have an idea of what corrosion is. It’s a process that occurs when the atoms on a metal’s surface are all oxidized, meaning that they combine chemically with oxygen. This is why metals rust and become brittle, and neither of these traits has any use in the field.

The Main Causes Of Corrosion

The two main periodic table elements involved in metal corrosion are hydrogen and oxygen. It should go without saying that their byproducts can be a huge cause of metal corrosion! We explain the biggest causes of metal corrosion below:

  • Water Exposure: One of the biggest risks to metals out there is water – which makes perfect sense considering its chemical makeup! This is why the metals used in underwater applications, such as plumbing pipes and submarine hulls, need to have superior corrosion resistance, since they are constantly exposed to what causes it.
  • Air Exposure: While air-based corrosion takes a significantly longer time to take root, it is still a main cause of it. The dirtier a metal’s surface is, the faster it corrodes when exposed to the air. It’s impossible to prevent air exposure, but there are preventative measures for this.
  • Electricity Exposure: There’s a reason why copper is the primary metal used for electrical wiring – it boasts superior corrosion resistance! Exposure to electricity can expedite the corrosion process.

How To Prevent Corrosion

The best way to prevent metal corrosion is to use metals with superior corrosion resistance, but that may not always be a viable option. Galvanizing your metal adds an additional protective coating to its outside, giving it better resistance to corrosion and rusting. It’s an application that is best used for metals in harsher environments.

Galvanizing and More With Markham Metals

Markham Metals has the tools you need to get your metal ready for practical use in the field. We can galvanize your metal to increase its resistance to corrosion as well, making it stronger in the brutal conditions it’s placed in. To perfectly shape, form and prepare your metal for any use, give us a call today at 978-658-1121!

Three stainless steel water bottles in a line. They are black, green and orange from left to right. This is meant to display steel's corrosion resistance to water.

What’s The Most Vital Metal Characteristic?

Do you know how much of your everyday life is influenced by the properties of different metals? Take a look around the room that you’re in. There are likely several objects, appliances, and devices that all use metal characteristics to function. It’s safe to say that society wouldn’t run anywhere near as efficiently if metals didn’t have these traits! With so many different traits that our Earth’s metals can have, which one is the most important for everyday life? It’s not an easy question to answer; we unpack it below!


If you still have your holiday lights up, go and take a closer look at them. This also works if you have an electronic home appliance. If you take it apart and look closely, you’ll realize that the wires connecting and powering everything are made out of copper. Metals that have great conductivity of heat and electricity are paramount to how well our household objects function. Telephone lines and power lines also take advantage of this metal characteristic. Much of the technology and cookware that we use today relies on metal conductivity.

Corrosion Resistance

No two metals that have good resistance to corrosion are the same. Why is this the case? It’s because it depends on what element that the metal best resists corrosion from! Metals can do well against water, heat, electricity and cold. Metals like these are important for seacraft and aircraft parts, making them a vital component of transportation as we know it. Corrosion resistance is also important for marine and interstellar research, meaning we wouldn’t know everything we know without it!


Metals are definitely known for being strong, but the strongest and most durable metals are important for a variety of applications. For example, aluminum is commonly used to construct window frames. Thanks to its strength and durability, windows with aluminum frames do a better job of providing insulation to your home. The strength of steel makes it a viable option for use in automobile and aircraft parts. Sometimes, these vehicles can be hit with insane force; the strength of their material prevents the worst damage to the valuables inside.

What’s The Answer?

So, what is the most important metal characteristic? It depends on who you ask! All of these strengths are what make our society as well-functioning as it is today. If you need metal shaped and formed for your next application, bring it to Markham Metals! We specialize in a variety of metalworking services that prepare them for use in the most important aspects of life. To get started, click here to request a quote!

A corroded steel pipe. It is covered in rust and has several large cracks along the side.

The Importance Of Corrosion Resistance

The properties of metals are what make them so useful in a variety of different industries. When a metal is used for a particular purpose, it’s typically because that it has a trait that is vital to its operation. One of the most important traits that a metal can have is its ability to resist corrosion. In other words, it refers to a metal’s ability to withstand the elements. In fact, corrosion resistance is a big part of many practical metal applications! But, what exactly makes it so vital? We explain just how important it is below!

Resisting Water

Take a look around your home or apartment. Do you have running water and good plumbing? You can thank corrosion resistance for making that possible! Some metals, such as copper, are resistant to the corrosion caused by water. It makes it a popular choice for plumbing pipes. Other metals are used in marine technology for the same purpose. If these metals didn’t have their superior resistance, ocean sciences and plumbing would suffer as a result.

Resisting Electricity

Technology would be nowhere near what it is today without the corrosion resistance of different metals! Some metals are incredibly resistant to corrosion from electricity, and are also good conductors of it. Copper wiring is a staple of a lot of household electronics, and iron and stainless steel is commonly used in a lot of electrical equipment. Next time you’re using your microwave or washing machine, remind yourself that metals make it work!

Resisting Heat

Heat resistance is a rare, yet important, property of a metal. Did you know that it is actually vital for use on airplanes? Metals like tungsten are important for aerospace applications due to their fantastic heat resistances. Other applications of this use are missiles, furnaces, and aircraft turbines. You can thank corrosion for everything from air travel to home heating systems!

Metalworking at Markham Metals

A lot of different metals are corrosion resistant in their own ways. If you need a metal shaped and formed into a useful application, there’s no better place to call than Markham Metals! If you can name a way to shape, cut or form metal, there’s a good chance we offer it as a service. We also carry an in-line stock of metal products for your needs. To get your metals ready for use in the real world, click here to contact us directly!