Metallic corrosion in the polluted urban atmosphere of Hong Kong

Bo Liu, Da Wei Wang, Hai Guo, Zhen Hao Ling, Kalam Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to explore the relationship between air pollutants, particularly acidic particles, and metallic material corrosion. An atmospheric corrosion test was carried out in spring-summer 2012 at a polluted urban site, i.e., Tung Chung in western Hong Kong. Nine types of metallic materials, namely iron, Q235 steel, 20# steel, 16Mn steel, copper, bronze, brass, aluminum, and aluminum alloy, were selected as specimens for corrosion tests. Ten sets of the nine materials were all exposed to ambient air, and then each set was collected individually after exposure to ambient air for consecutive 6, 13, 20, 27, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63, and 70 days, respectively. After the removal of the corrosion products on the surface of the exposed specimens, the corrosion rate of each material was determined. The surface structure of materials was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) before and after the corrosion tests. Environmental factors including temperature, relative humidity, concentrations of gaseous pollutants, i.e., sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and particulate-phase pollutants, i.e., PM2.5(FSP) and PM10(RSP), were monitored. Correlation analysis between environmental factors and corrosion rate of materials indicated that iron and carbon steel were damaged by both gaseous pollutants (SO2and NO2) and particles. Copper and copper alloys were mainly corroded by gaseous pollutants (SO2and O3), while corrosion of aluminum and aluminum alloy was mainly attributed to NO2and particles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2015


  • Acidic particles
  • Corrosion rate
  • Metallic corrosion
  • Polluted urban atmosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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