How to Prevent Filiform Corrosion

Written by kendra dahlstrom
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How to Prevent Filiform Corrosion
Filiform corrosion on a boat (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Filiform corrosion appears on thinly coated metals. Affected steel or aluminium coated with silver, enamel, lacquer, tin or phosphate appear cracked and lumpy due to this type of corrosion. It occurs under the thin coating and shows itself as little veinlike filaments branching out from random spots. To prevent filiform corrosion, professionals take precautions before and after coating.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Zinc coating
  • Humidifier
  • Soap
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Avoid quick-dry paints or lacquer coatings on metal surfaces. These allow moisture to seep through the surfaces, which causes filiform corrosion. Instead, use coatings rich in zinc, since they protect metals like carbon steel, according to the Corrosion Technology Laboratory at the Kennedy Space Center.

  2. 2

    Keep your coated metal in a humidity-controlled environment. The humidity level should stay at or below 70 per cent. Air-conditioned environments maintain this level naturally. If needed, place a humidifier in the garage or basement where you store your metal belongings.

  3. 3

    Wash the metal coating with water and non-acidic soap after each use. Boats, for example, often experience filiform corrosion. Wash them after each use to remove any acidic compounds that break down the outer coating and allow moisture to permeate through to the metal.

Tips and warnings

  • Removing filiform corrosion requires glass bead or sand blasting before following the prevention steps to re-coat the metal.

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