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MSc Corrosion Control Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Corrosion Management

Unit code MATS66402
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


In this unit you will learn about how surface coatings and electrochemical methods can be used to manage and control the corrosion damage of structural materials in natural environments and how economic analysis, corrosion testing and the application of standards can help in determining the most appropriate and cost-effective corrosion control solution.


This unit studies the factors that influence the performance of materials used in vehicles, vessels and aircraft as well as materials in the built environment on land and offshore.

Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

• Knowledge and understanding

• Intellectual skills

• Practical skills

• Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Feedback given verbally and written.

Knowledge and understanding

Explain the factors that influence corrosion damage in the natural environments of the sea, the soil, lakes and rivers, and in the air (the atmospheric environment).

Recognise the key differences between natural and industrial environ-ments and how these mechanistically influence corrosion processes.

Summarise the main methods for corrosion control of structural materials.

Identify how corrosion testing and the application of industry standards can be used to select suitable corrosion control methods

Describe methods by which protective coatings may be applied to structural materials and how their service performance may be tested

Explain how anodising can improve the corrosion performance of light alloys and anodic passivation that of corrosion resistant alloys

Describe the industrial application of cathodic protection giving examples; explain how calcareous films develop and evolve during cathodic protection.


Intellectual skills

Interpret thermodynamic (i.e. E v. pH or Pourbaix) and/or kinetic (i.e. E v log(i) or Evans’) diagrams to summarise how cathodic protection and anodic passivation work.

Employ the theory of high field ion conduction to illustrate the mechanism of anodic film formation on valve metals; recognise how pH and potential influence the formation of porous or barrier anodic films.

Appraise and justify the Nguyen and Mayne mechanisms for the corrosion protection by organic coatings; defend these ideas against competing theories. 

Practical skills

Measure the effectiveness of cathodic protection by mapping the corrosion potential of a galvanically protected structure. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Apply discounted cash flow analysis and life-cycle costing to analyse suitable corrosion control options for the protection of a steel bridge. Complete a presentation to justify the most suitable option to a non-technical audience. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Report 15%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%

Feedback methods

Lectures, group tutorials (problem sessions), recommended textbooks, web resources, self- teaching worked examples, past exam papers, electronic supporting information (Blackboard).


Recommended reading

Book: “Principle of corrosion engineering and control”, Zaki Ahmed Book: “Shreirs’ Corrosion”, all relevant chapters   Article: “Soil corrosivity in the UK: Impacts on critical infrastructure”  (

"" Book: “Intelligent coatings for corrosion control”, Atul Tiwari Lloyd Hihara James Rawlins Book: “Corrosion and its control by coatings”, Gordon Bierwagen Learn chemistry: “Anodising aluminium” (

"" Journal: Aircraft engineering and aerospace technology: “Anodizing of aluminium alloys” (

"" Article: “Principles of cathodic protection”, Francis (

""  Internet resources on the collapse of highways bridge I-35W over the river Mississippi in Minneapolis Article: US National Bureau of Standards (NBS) reports on corrosion in soil Standards and testing: ISO/TC 156 Corrosion of metals and alloys (

"" Standards and testing: ASTM (

"" Standards and testing: NACE – industry standards (


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 36
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Stuart Lyon Unit coordinator

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