Next Article in Journal
Optical Characterization of Gadolinium Fluoride Films Using Universal Dispersion Model
Next Article in Special Issue
Corrosion Rate of Steel in Liquid Zn, Zn-Bi and Zn-Sn Baths
Previous Article in Journal
Abrasive and Erosive Wear of TI6Al4V Alloy with Electrospark Deposited Coatings of Multicomponent Hard Alloys Materials Based of WC and TiB2
Previous Article in Special Issue
Modelling of Lead Corrosion in Contact with an Anaerobic HCl Solution, Influence of the Corrosion Product Presence
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:

Corrosion and Anticorrosion of Alloys/Metals: The Important Global Issue

Department of Metallurgy and Recycling, Faculty of Materials Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, Krasińskiego 8, 40-019 Katowice, Poland
Coatings 2023, 13(2), 216;
Original submission received: 13 January 2023 / Accepted: 16 January 2023 / Published: 17 January 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corrosion and Anticorrosion of Alloys/Metals)
Most metal materials commonly used in engineering corrode in atmospheric conditions. The physicochemical and electrochemical interactions of the material with the surrounding environment lead to the gradual destruction of the products, until the complete loss of their mechanical and functional properties. The destructive effect of corrosion has a direct impact on durability, but also on the safety of used products, devices and structures. Corrosion, both in economic and social terms, is an extremely important problem for the economy of all countries. Economic losses are directly related to the need to replace damaged structures, machines, devices or their components, to use expensive corrosion-resistant materials, anticorrosion protection, and indirectly through interruptions in production caused by the need to replace parts or repair damage.
The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International), the world’s largest corrosion association and a world leader in anticorrosion protection, in a report published in 2016 [1], estimates global losses caused by corrosion at 2.5 trillion USD per year, which constitutes 3.4% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013 [2]. The NACE International report specifies corrosion losses in the world’s largest economies at 2.7% of GDP for the United States, 3.8% of GDP for the European Union, including Switzerland and Norway, 4.2% of GDP for India, 5% of GDP for Arab countries, 4.2% of GDP for China, 4% of GDP for Russia and 1% of GDP for Japan. NACE International indicates that with the appropriate use of currently available corrosion control methods, the cost of corrosion losses can be reduced by 15%–35%, which gives a global value of USD 375–875 trillion per year [3].
The data presented by NACE International justify the need to use the best available corrosion protection systems that combine long-term durability and low operating costs. There is also a need to conduct research on the development of new and more durable anticorrosion protection and on expanding the area of their application. Corrosion and the directly related anticorrosion are, therefore, important global problems that affect all metal materials used in various industries, infrastructure, civil engineering, transport, biomedicine, etc.
The reduction in corrosion losses is influenced not only by the appropriate design of the structure itself, but also by the proper selection, execution and operation of the protective coating. When choosing anticorrosion protection in the cost analysis, its durability and the related costs of coating renovation should be taken into account. As shown on the example of a bridge structure protected with a paint coating, the cost of coating a new structure in the production plant is only 1/3 of the cost of coating renovation in operating conditions [4]. Economic protection should, therefore, be characterized by optimal durability under specific operating conditions at the lowest possible renovation costs.
The growing population and technological development cause a continuous increase in the consumption of base metals, which are characterized by low corrosion resistance. For corrosion and anticorrosion of alloys/metals, the steel/zinc metal material pair is by far the most important.
Steel is the most widely used material in the world due to its versatility, low cost and good strength properties. Carbon steel products are widely used in the automotive industry, infrastructure and construction. It is a material that determines the development of industry and society at large, and its production is constantly growing. At the same time, carbon steel in the conditions of operation in the atmospheric environment shows low resistance to corrosion [5]. Therefore, the use of steel makes it necessary to properly protect the steel product against corrosion.
Zinc is the most important metal used in anticorrosion protection of steel. Zinc is a metal with a relatively low electrochemical potential (E°(Zn2+/Zn) = −0.761 V [6]) and a high tendency to corrosion [7]. However, in most environments, the corrosion rate of zinc is low because its surface is quickly covered with corrosion products that inhibit further corrosion [8]. Zinc coatings are currently the most effective way to protect the steel surface against corrosion. They act as a barrier, preventing oxygen and moisture from reaching the steel surface. However, the electrode potential of the joined metals: iron and zinc (E°(Fe2+/Fe) = −0.447 V; vs. SHE [6]) is decisive for the effect of corrosion. The contact of two metals with different electrode potential leads to the formation of corrosion cells. Under such conditions, the zinc coating is an anode providing sacrificial protection to the steel surface. These properties mean that zinc coatings are willingly used for anticorrosion protection not only of carbon steels, but also of high-strength steels after heat treatment [9], cast iron [10], as well as wires intended for high-speed drawing [11]. The ability of zinc to protect steel is also used in other anticorrosion techniques, such as cathodic protection of steel objects (pipelines, ship hulls) in the ground and in sea water. The dissemination of European standards regarding the requirements for the use of electrochemical anticorrosion systems has resulted in increased interest in the use of zinc anodes (protectors) for this purpose in recent years [12].
Anticorrosive zinc coatings are applied to steel surfaces by various methods such as electroplating, mechanical plating, sherardizing, thermal spraying, as well as painting with zinc-rich coatings. However, the hot dip galvanizing process is by far the most commonly used. Hot dip galvanizing coatings are characterized by good corrosion resistance, and their durability in medium-aggressive environments ranges from several dozen to even 100 years [13]. The zinc coating obtained by the hot dip galvanizing method allows for safe and efficient functioning of steel structures for many years while maintaining the lowest operating costs of the coating. It is estimated that the cost of producing 1 m2 of a protective system based on a high-zinc primer and polyurethane paint is 1.6 times higher than the cost of producing 1 m2 of hot-dip zinc coating. However, the annual operating costs in this case are already 5 times higher for this protection system compared to the hot-dip zinc coating [14].
The galvanizing process has been used to protect steel against corrosion for over 150 years (French patent S. Sorel from 1836). However, over the last few decades, there has been a steady increase in the demand for galvanized products. In 1960, the galvanizing industry consumed 32% of global zinc production, while in 2022 this consumption is estimated at 50%. In addition, the world production of zinc increased from 6.8 million tons in 1960 to over 13 million tons in 2021 [15]. According to statistics, in 2019, over 8.1 million tons of structural steel were galvanized in Europe [16], which means an increase in production by over 20% in the last decade (6.6 million tons of steel in 2011 [17]). In North America, 4.9 million tons of steel were galvanized in 2019, and production increased by approx. 10% compared to 2014 [18]. However, China is currently the largest producer of galvanized steel in the world, where approximately 44 million tons of steel were galvanized in 2017 [19]. Statistics show that the amount of galvanized steel in China has been growing exponentially over the last few decades.
A separate group of products are galvanized steel sheets commonly used in the construction and automotive industry, coated with zinc using the continuous method developed by T. Semdzimir. The first galvanizing plant for continuous galvanizing of sheets was launched in Poland in 1933 [20], and the technology of continuous galvanizing of sheets was patented by the inventor in 1937. The International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) states in its 2017 report that there are over 500 continuous sheet metallization lines, of which over 130 are located in Europe [1]. The continuous method of galvanizing sheets is the most efficient and economical technique for producing anticorrosion protection on steel.
Zinc plays a very important role in corrosion protection. However, its natural resources are limited. Total global zinc resources are currently estimated to be around 250 million tons. Due to the relatively high demand for this metal and the constantly growing consumption, especially in anticorrosion protection, global reserves are able to cover the demand only for the next 17 years [21]. This requires rational management of the available zinc resources and continuous research into the development of new and more effective anticorrosion protections obtained by an equally economical method, which is hot-dip galvanizing.
Already in the 1980s, coatings obtained on sheets using the continuous method in Zn-Al baths were developed and implemented for production; e.g., Galfan (ZnAl5RE0.1-0.3) [22,23] and Lavegal (ZnAl30Mg0.2Si0.2) [24]. Long-term corrosion tests have shown that these coatings show 2–4 times higher corrosion resistance than traditional hot-dip galvanizing coatings [25]. The increase in corrosion resistance allows for a reduction in the thickness of the coating, which leads to lower consumption of zinc. An important economic aspect is also associated with the fact that part of the zinc in the bath is replaced by cheaper aluminum, and at the same time, the introduction of a metal with a lower specific gravity into the coating reduces the weight of the coating material to create a coating of the same thickness. In the last two decades, the interest in Mg as an additive to Zn-Al baths has increased significantly. This led to the development of many new bath compositions, which have been used for the production of coatings on sheets using the continuous method for several years. In Japan, the following coatings are produced on an industrial scale: SuperDyma (Zn-11Al-3Mg-0.2Si) [26] and ZAM (Zn-6Al-3Mg) [27]. In Europe, the MagiZincTM (Zn, 1%–2% Mg, 1%–2% Al) process is being developed [28], as well as Magnelis (Zn-3.5% Al-3% Mg) [29]. Magnesium additionally increases the corrosion resistance of the coatings [30], and additionally, reduces the weight of the coating and the consumption of zinc.
In recent years, the subject of the production of ZnAlMg coatings is still very topical, as evidenced by numerous publications on the microstructure [31], properties [32] and improvement of coating properties [33]. However, these coatings are produced continuously only on steel sheets. Their favorable properties encourage work on the development of the technology for producing ZnAlMg coatings on steel structures by the batch hot-dip method. The main limitation of their application is the lack of a suitable flux [34,35,36], excessive dissolution of iron in the bath [37] and the formation of a periodic layered structure [38]. Recent studies, however, show that it is possible to produce these coatings by the batch hot-dip method [39], and the addition of Si can eliminate the unfavorable periodic layered structure. The latest research also indicates the possibility of their use for specific products, e.g., reinforcing bars [40]. For several years, it has been observed that this is a new direction in the development of metal coatings intended to protect steel surfaces against corrosion.
This Special Issue focuses on current trends in science, engineering and technology related to the corrosion and anticorrosion of alloys/metals. It includes basic and applied research related to the mechanisms and modeling of corrosion of metal materials and the processes of their protection and reduction in the effects of corrosion.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.


  1. Report ILZSG. World Directory of Continuous Galvanizing Lines; ILZSG: New York, NY, USA, 2017. [Google Scholar]
  2. Koch, G.; Varney, J.; Thompson, N.; Moghissi, O.; Gould, M.; Payer, J. International Measures of Prevention Application and Economics of Corrosion Technologies Study; NACE International: Houston, TX, USA, 2008. [Google Scholar]
  3. Koch, G. Cost of corrosion. In Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy, Trends in Oil and Gas Corrosion Research and Technologies; Woodhead Publishing: Cambridge, UK, 2017; pp. 3–30. [Google Scholar]
  4. Smith, L.M.; Tinklenburg, G.R. Lead-Coaining Paint Removal, Containment, and Disposal; Report No. FHWA-RD-94-100; Federal Highway Administration, Offices of Research and Development: Washington, DC, USA, 1995; pp. 109–124. [Google Scholar]
  5. Dwivedi, D.; Lepkova, K.; Becker, T. Carbon steel corrosion: A review of key surface properties and characterization methods. RSC Adv. 2017, 7, 4580–4610. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
  6. Lide, D.R. (Ed.) CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 90th ed.; Taylor and Francis Group LLC.: Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2010. [Google Scholar]
  7. Zhang, X.G. Corrosion and Electrochemistry of Zinc; Springer: New York, NY, USA, 2013. [Google Scholar]
  8. Porter, F. Corrosion Resistance of Zinc and Zinc Alloys, 1st ed.; Taylor & Francis Inc.: Oxfordshire, UK, 1994. [Google Scholar]
  9. Kania, H.; Liberski, P. The Structure and Growth Kinetics of Zinc Coatings on Link Chains Produced of the 23MnNiCrMo5-2 Steel. Solid State Phenom. 2014, 212, 145–150. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. Jędrzejczyk, D. Effect of High Temperature Oxidation on Structure and Corrosion Resistance of the Zinc Coating Deposited on Cast Iron. Arch. Met. Mater. 2012, 57, 145–154. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  11. Suliga, M.; Wartacz, R.; Hawryluk, M.; Kostrzewa, J. The Effect of Drawing in Conventional and Hydrodynamic Dies on Structure and Corrosion Resistance of Hot-Dip Galvanized Zinc Coatings on Medium-Carbon Steel Wire. Materials 2022, 15, 6728. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  12. Sokólski, W. The role of zinc in steel corrosion protection—Application overview. Ochr. Przed. Koroz. 2020, 8, 258–261. [Google Scholar]
  13. ISO 14713-1:2017; Zinc Coatings—Guidelines and Recommendations for the Protection against Corrosion of Iron and Steel in Structures—Part 1: General Principles of Design and Corrosion Resistance. ISO: Geneva, Switzerland, 2017.
  14. Milewski, W. Metal and metal-paint coatings. Nowocz. Hale 2012, 1, 92–94. [Google Scholar]
  15. Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG). Available online: (accessed on 27 November 2022).
  16. European General Galvanizers Association (EGGA). Statistical Report 2019; EGGA: Sutton Coldfield, UK, 2020. [Google Scholar]
  17. Cook, M. Securing the future of galvanizing at the European level. In Proceedings of the 18th Hot-Dip Galvanizing Conference, Senec, Slovakia, 9–11 October 2012; pp. 5–13. [Google Scholar]
  18. American Galvanizers Association (AGA). Available online: (accessed on 28 November 2020).
  19. van Leeuwen, M. Recent developments in the global zinc and HDG markets. In Proceedings of the 25th Hot Dip Galvanizing Conference. České Budějovice, Czech Republic, 2–4 October 2019; pp. 23–29. [Google Scholar]
  20. Tape “Sędzimir”. Iron Sheet Galvanized in Roofing Tapes; Silesian Zinc Industry Sp. AKC: Katowice-Kostuchna, Poland, 1937.
  21. Garside, M. Global Zinc Reserves by Country 2020. 18 February 2021. Available online: (accessed on 29 August 2021).
  22. Goodwin, F.E. GALFAN Galvanizing Alloy & Technology; ILZRO Inc.: Durham, NC, USA, 1984. [Google Scholar]
  23. Roman, M.P. GALFAN Galvanizing; ILZRO Inc.: Durham, NC, USA, 1988. [Google Scholar]
  24. Bonaretti, A.; Capoccia, A.; Giardetti, G.; Mucchino, D. Process and use properties of Lavegal. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Zinc Coated Steel Sheet, Rome, Italy, 9–10 June 1988. SC6/1–13. [Google Scholar]
  25. Zhang, X.; Leygraf, C.; Wallinder, I.O. Atmospheric corrosion of Galfan coatings on steel in chloride-rich environments. Corros. Sci. 2013, 73, 62–71. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
  26. Tanaka, S.; Honda, K.; Takahashi, A.; Morimoto, Y.; Kurosaki, M.; Shindo, H.; Nishimura, K.; Sugiyama, M. The performance of Zn-Al-Mg-Si hot-dip galvanized steel sheet. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Zinc and Zinc Alloy Coated Steel, GALVATECH’ 2001, Brussels, Belgium, 26–28 June 2001; pp. 153–160. [Google Scholar]
  27. Tsujimura, T.; Komatsu, A.; Andoh, A. Influence of Mg content in coating layer and coating structure on corrosion resistance of hot-dip Zn-Al-Mg alloy coated steel sheet. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Zinc and Zinc Alloy Coated Steel, GALVATECH’2001, Brussels, Belgium, 26–28 June 2001; pp. 145–152. [Google Scholar]
  28. Volt, M.; Bleeker, R.; Maalman, T.; van Perlstein, E. MagiZincTM: A New Generation of Hot-Dip Galvanized Products. In Proceedings of the Galvanized Steel Sheet Forum, ILZRO and IZA, Duesseldorf, Germany, 30–31 May 2006; pp. 13–24. [Google Scholar]
  29. Arcellor Mittal, Magnelis. Innowacyjna Powłoka Metaliczna Gwarantująca Ochronę w Najsurowszych Warunkach. Available online: (accessed on 19 February 2015).
  30. Shimoda, N.; Ueda, K.; Kubo, Y. Corrosion Resistance of Several Zn-Al-Mg Alloy Coated Steels. Technical Report No. 108. Nippon. Steel Sumitomo Met. Tech. Rep. 2015, 108, 60–63. [Google Scholar]
  31. Zhang, Z.; Zhang, J.; Zhao, X.; Cheng, X.; Jiang, S.; Zhang, Q. Effects of Al-Mg on the Microstructure and Phase Distribution of Zn-Al-Mg Coatings. Metals 2023, 13, 46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  32. Ghatei-Kalashami, A.; Khan, M.S.; Lee, M.-Y.; Zhou, Y.N. High-temperature phase evolution of the ZnAlMg coating and its effect on mit-igating liquid-metal-embrittlement cracking. Acta Mater. 2022, 229, 117836. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  33. Said, V.H.; Haakmann, F.; Brinkbäumer, J.; Ulbricht, M. Comparison of the nucleation and growth of a phosphate conversion coating on ZnAl and ZnAlMg coatings under the influence of a corrosion inhibitor film. Surf. Coat. Technol. 2022, 451, 129044. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  34. Du, A.; Huo, Y.; Hu, J. Study of Fluxing Process for Hot Dipping Galfan Alloy on Steel Wire. Adv. Mater. Res. 2012, 433–440, 111–115. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  35. Manna, M. Effect of Fluxing Chemical: An Option for Zn-5wt.%Al Alloy Coating on Wire Surface by Single Hot Dip Process. Surf. Coatings Technol. 2011, 205, 3716–3721. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  36. Kim, K.-Y.; Grandhi, S.; Oh, M.-S. Improving the Coatability of Zn–Mg–Al Alloy on Steel Substrate by the Surface Pretreatment of SnCl2-Added Zinc Ammonium Chloride. Appl. Sci. 2023, 13, 950. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  37. Kania, H. Structure Shaping and Corrosion Resistance of Zn-Al Coatings Obtained in Hot Dip Metalization; Silesian University of Technology: Gliwice, Poland, 2017. [Google Scholar]
  38. Gao, L.; Li, Z.; Kuang, X.; Yin, F.; Ji, H. Formation of periodic layered structure during hot-dip galvanizing in Al-Zn-Mg bath. Surf. Coat. Technol. 2016, 304, 306–315. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
  39. Kania, H. Structure and Corrosion Resistance of Coatings Obtained by the Batch Double Hot Dip Method in Eutectoid ZnAl Bath with the Addition of Mg and Si. Coatings 2022, 12, 1207. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  40. Marek, A. Hot Dip Zn-5Al Coatings with Improved Corrosion Resistance of Reinforcement Steel. Metalurgija 2022, 2, 389–391. Available online: (accessed on 27 December 2022).
Disclaimer/Publisher’s Note: The statements, opinions and data contained in all publications are solely those of the individual author(s) and contributor(s) and not of MDPI and/or the editor(s). MDPI and/or the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Kania, H. Corrosion and Anticorrosion of Alloys/Metals: The Important Global Issue. Coatings 2023, 13, 216.

AMA Style

Kania H. Corrosion and Anticorrosion of Alloys/Metals: The Important Global Issue. Coatings. 2023; 13(2):216.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kania, Henryk. 2023. "Corrosion and Anticorrosion of Alloys/Metals: The Important Global Issue" Coatings 13, no. 2: 216.

Note that from the first issue of 2016, this journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop