Concentrated Cell Corrosion


Also called crevice corrosion, this corrosion occurs any time liquid flow is kept away from the attacked surface.

It is common between nut and bolt surfaces, under O-rings and gaskets, and between the clamps and stainless steel shafts we find in many split seal applications. Salt water applications are the most severe problem because of the salt water low pH (8.0 – 9.0) and high chlorine content.

Here is the mechanism that causes the corrosion problem:

  • Chlorides pit the passivated stainless steel surface.
  • The low pH salt water attacks the active layer that is exposed
  • Because of the lack of fluid flow over the attacked surface, oxygen is not available to re-passivate the stainless steel.
  • Corrosion continues unhampered under the rubber and tight fitting clamp.
  • The inside of the O-ring groove can experience the same corrosion as the shaft or sleeve.

The solution to concentrated corrosion problems with stainless steel, in salt water applications, is to coat the surfaces of the parts in contact with zinc oxide.

The zinc will act as the sacrificial anode.

See: corrosion problems with stainless seel