Glossary of Corrosion Related Terms




quench-age embrittlement
Embrittlement of low-carbon steels resulting from precipitation of solute carbon at existing dislocations and from precipitation hardening of the steel caused by differences in the solid solubility of carbon in ferrite at different temperatures. Quench-age embrittlement usually is caused by rapid cooling of the steel from temperatures slightly below Ac, (the temperature at which austenite begins to form), and can be minimized by quenching from lower temperatures.



quench aging
Aging induced by rapid cooling after solution heat treatment.



quench cracking
Fracture of a metal during quenching from elevated temperature. Most frequently observed in hardened carbon steel, alloy steel, or tool steel parts of high hardness and low toughness. Cracks often emanate from fillets, holes, corners, or other stress raisers and result from high stresses due to the volume changes accompanying transformation to martensite.



quench hardening
(1) Hardening suitable alloys (most often certain copper or titanium alloys) by solution treating and quenching to develop a martensite-like structure. (2) In ferrous alloys, hardening by austenitizing and then cooling at a rate such that a substantial amount of austenite transforms to martensite.



Rapid cooling of metals (often steels) from a suitable elevated temperature. This generally is accomplished by immersion in water, oil, polymer solution, or salt, although forced air is sometimes used.




radiation damage
A general term for the alteration of properties of a material arising from exposure to ionizing radiation (penetrating radiation), such as x-rays, gamma rays. neutrons, heavy-particle radiation, or fission fragments in nuclear fuel material.



rare earth metal
One of the group of l5 chemically similar metals with atomic numbers 57 through 7l, commonly referred to as the lanthanides.



reactive metal
A metal that readily combines with oxygen at elevated temperatures to form very stable oxides, for example, titanium, zirconium, and beryllium. Reactive metals may also become embrittled by the interstitial absorption of oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.



(1) Formation of a new, strain free grain structure from that existing in cold worked metal, usually accomplished by heating. (2) The change from one crystal structure to another, as occurs on heating or cooling through a critical temperature.



redox potential
The potential of a reversible oxidation-reduction electrode measured with respect to a reference electrode, corrected to the hydrogen electrode, in a given electrolyte.



reducing agent
A compound that causes reduction, thereby itself becoming oxidized.



A reaction in which there is a decrease in valence resulting from a gain in electrons. Contrast with oxidation.



reference electrode
A nonpolarizable electrode with a known and highly reproducible potential used for potentiometric and voltammetric analyses. See also calomel electrode.



refractory metal
A metal having an extremely high melting point, for example, tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum, niobium, chromium, vanadium, and rhenium. In the broad sense, this term refers to metals having melting points above the range for iron, cobalt, and nickel.



relative humidity
The ratio, expressed as a percentage, of the amount of water vapor present in a given volume of air at a given temperature to the amount required to saturate the air at that temperature.



residual stress
Stresses that remain within a body as a result of plastic deformation.



The opposition that a device or material offers to the flow of direct current, equal to the voltage drop across the element divided by the current through the element. Also called electrical resistance.



See electrical resistivity.



rest potential
See corrosion potential and open-circuit potential.



Localized corrosion frequently observed in oilwell tubing in which a circumferential attack is observed near a region of metal "upset".



(1) That section of pipeline extending from the ocean floor up the platform. Also, the vertical tube in a steam generator convection bank that circulates water and steam upward. (2) A reservoir of molten metal connected to a casting to provide additional metal to the casting, required as the result of shrinkage before and during solidification.



A visible corrosion product consisting of hydrated oxides of iron. Applied only to ferrous alloys. See also white rust.


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