Corrosion Inhibitors: 3 Steps to Avoid Computer Corrosion
Corrosion is defined by unsw.edu.au as the “destructive and unintentional degradation of a material caused by its environment.” It is interesting to note that the corroded state is the more stable state, so all environments cause metals to corrode to a certain degree. Rust is a common type of corrosion, commonly found on steel structures and iron. In this scenario, the iron reacts with oxygen, found in air or water, to form iron oxide compounds.
However, even though the corroded state is the more stable state, it is not wise to allow the corrosion to continue unabated.
Succinctly stated, if the metal corrodes indefinitely, it will eventually break down. For instance, if computer components get wet or are exposed to moist, salt air, the internal hardware components will corrode quickly, resulting in permanent damage. This is just one example of the many scenarios that need the application of a corrosion inhibitor to prevent corrosion from occurring.
What is Corrosion Control Technology?
Statistics reported by the journal article titled, “Cost of Corrosion in the United States,” show that the total direct cost of corrosion in the United States adds up to circa $276 billion per annum. Additionally, it is estimated that the indirect cost to the end-user can double the economic impact of corrosion, making the overall cost, including direct and indirect costs, $551 billion or higher.
It has also been estimated that 40% of US steel production goes to the replacement of corroded parts and products. Clearly, this is not an untenable scenario in the long term. Fortunately, there are technologies and compounds available to prevent the corrosion of metals that occur when exposed to the oxygen in air or moisture (water).
In order to develop a corrosion control policy and technology, it is essential to understand how metals corrode. As highlighted above, metals corrode when exposed to oxygen. However, let’s take a deeper look into what happens during the corrosion process.
As the article titled, “Corrosion Control Technology” published on the pcimag.com website states, corrosion is an electrochemical process. Being susceptible to oxidation is not the only condition required for the process to occur. A corrosion cell is also required to take the metal back to a lower energy state. Therefore, for corrosion to occur, a corrosion cell must exist.
Consequently, part of the corrosion control technology is to prevent the corrosion cell from being formed. Therefore, this technology can be described as measures or mechanisms implemented that prevent the oxygen from interacting with the metal and creating a corrosion cell, which breaks down the metal by returning it to a lower energy state.
Ways to Prevent Computer Corrosion
The most common corrosion inhibitors include the use of polymeric coatings, anodized coatings, cathodic coatings, and modification of the corrosive environment. However, even though one or more of these inhibitors will be applied to the corrosive computer components, it is still necessary to follow the following tips as extra protection, especially if you live next to one of the world’s coastlines. As highlighted at the beginning of this article, moist salty sea air is extremely corrosive. Not only does the salt stick to the components, reducing and eventually destroying their functionality, but the wet, humid air can also cause your computer to malfunction.
Therefore, let’s consider the following simple, yet effective ways to prevent your computer from malfunctioning as a result of corrosion.
1. Avoid drastic temperature changes
One of the ways humidity builds up inside your laptop (or desktop) computer is moving it between environments that are significantly different in temperature. For instance, it might be scorching and humid outdoors and much cooler inside an air-conditioned office.
Moisture can form and often forms on the inside of the laptop when leaving the cool office and stepping out into the hot, humid weather. Juxtapositionally, condensation can also form on the computer’s internal components by moving from frosty winter weather into a warm office. Therefore, it’s essential to use an insulated case when moving your laptop between environments with temperature extremes.
2. Install a dehumidifier in your home or office
If you live in a very humid climate, it is a good idea to install a dehumidifier in your home or office to remove some of the moisture from the air. This will prevent water droplets from accumulating on the components inside electronic devices, including laptop and desktop computers, mobile devices, and other electronic equipment.
3. Wipe your computer down as soon as you see moisture accumulating on the outside
Use a clean towel or absorbent, lint-free cloth to wipe down the outside of your computer, desktop or laptop, as soon as you see any water droplets start to form on the computer’s external casing. It is vital to do this before the moisture begins seeping through the keyboard or the vents; otherwise, the internal components will damage and malfunction.