Aluminium is prized in construction and industry due to the metals light weight and natural anti-corrosive properties. This is because unlike other metals, untreated aluminum forms a natural oxide barrier which effectively protects the underlying metal in environments with a stable pH balance of between 4 & 9.
However, as many people will be aware, aluminum can still be compromised by a host of environmental factors. This being the case before aluminum is used outdoors or in any kind of heavy industrial setting, it is important to understand how to ensure better corrosion protection of aluminum surfaces and equipment components.
Galvanic Corrosion in Aluminum
While aluminum is often a preferred choice of material for external structures such as apartment balconies, it is important to understand that when paired with more noble metals such as copper and stainless steel, the atmospheric addition of an electrolyte bridge (such as chloride) can instigate galvanic aluminum corrosion.
Galvanic corrosion occurs due to the prolonged exchange of electrons between aluminum and more noble metals. Thankfully, however, galvanic corrosion of aluminum is not something which will usually affect indoor aluminum or outdoor aluminum structures in rural, non-costal settings. At the same time, it is possible to reduce and completely prevent galvanic corrosion by insulating aluminum from direct contact with more noble metals in the first place.
Protecting Aluminum from Marine, Soil & Wintertime Climatic Factors
While galvanic corrosion can damage the strength and aesthetic appearance of aluminum, it is also the case that exposure to high chloride environments, excessive moisture, and soil, can cause minor pitting of aluminum surfaces. Thankfully, untreated aluminum in even coastal/marine environments offers much better corrosion protection than other metals such as iron and steel. At the same time, pitting which occurs in the presence of an electrolyte (usually water containing dissolved salts), will rarely if ever compromise aluminum’s overall strength.
What is important to remember, is that materials such as soil vary considerably when it comes to their overall pH balance, this and the presence (or not) of different organic chemicals and electrical conductivity factors. In like regard, standing water and the presence of films of liquid between aluminum joins can exasperate corrosion. This being the case, it is always best practice to seal aluminum components and structures against exposure to environmental moisture and conductivity variables.
While the oxide barrier which naturally forms on aluminum surfaces is stable in pH ranges from 4-9, if this layer is compromised by high alkalinity or inorganic acids, aluminum can quickly corrode. Thankfully, such corrosion can be inhibited by silicate sealants alkaline inhibitors
Naturaseal Aluminum Corrosion Protection
Due to the broad range of outdoor applications for aluminum, Naturaseal has developed a comprehensive range of waterproof and conductivity inhibiting sealants designed to completely prevent corrosion of everything from aluminum balconies to roofing materials and marine based industrial equipment.
Capable of expanding and contracting in accordance with climatic temperature changes, Naturaseal Spray Seal is ideally suited to protecting aluminum from weather factors and excessive moisture. Cold applied as a spray, users benefit from total coverage and long lasting environmental protection. Naturaseal Brush Seal in the meantime is itself designed to specifically protect aluminum and other materials from salt and soil based corrosion.
Self-healing, Naturaseal Brush Seal can adhere to any aluminum surface and like Spray Seal, will expand and contract in accordance with local climatic conditions. Meanwhile, Naturaseal’s specially formulated Mine Seal is itself designed to protect aluminum surfaces from both water and chemical corrosion. Much more importantly, all Naturaseal sealants adhere strongly to surfaces and are 100% environmentally friendly. This makes Naturaseal products perfectly suited to a variety of home, commercial, and all kinds of industrial outdoor applications.