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Natural Corrosion Cells

The environment for many structures provides conditions favoring formation of natural corrosion cells. The metal or metals of a structure serve as anode, cathode, and the necessary metallic conductor between the two. Water, either as such or as moisture in soil, provides the electrolyte required to complete the cell circuit. Such cells develop their driving force or electrical potential from differing conditions at the interfaces between metal and electrolyte of the anode and cathode. These differences fall into three categories:

The following examples illustrate situations in which the essential requirements of a complete cell are satisfied in a structure: (reference)

See also: Conductivity cell, Corrosion cell definition, Daniell cell, Impressed current cathodic protection system, Natural corrosion cells, Rotating cylinder test cell, Sacrificial anode cathodic protection