Corroded industrial sculpture at UCSD

Corrosion – the gradual destruction of material, usually metals, by chemical reaction with its environment. Corrosion degrades the useful properties of materials and structures including strength, appearance and permeability to liquids and gases.

  • electrochemical oxidation of metals – This type of damage typically produces oxides or salts of the original metal.
  • rusting – the formation of iron oxides, is an example of electrochemical corrosion.
  • degradation – in materials other than metals, such as ceramics or polymers

What’s the problem?
The sculpture in the picture uses corrosion as a design element for this artistic structure.

  • Ask – Why would anyone want to show off corrosion?
  • Imagine – Where are other examples of corrosion? What would give the artist ideas for this sculpture? How did the artist combine the pieces?
  • Design, Build
  • Improve

That’s engineering

  • reaction – reciprocal motion of chemical agents upon each other; a chemical change

Engineering ideas

  • chemical reaction, degradation, metal, oxidation, oxide, salt, properties, material, structure, strength, appearance, permeability

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • Find some examples of corrosion. What is the material? How did the corrosion occur?