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Corrosion Awareness Day - 24th April 2020

Dr Khalil Khan
24 April 2020

Rust Corrosion

This year World Corrosion Awareness day is on Friday 24th April and the UK is currently in lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Like the METaL team, you will probably be self-isolating, maybe you are working from home and experiencing some of the associated challenges. 

The world may be on hold, but corrosion is relentless! It continues to weaken, deteriorate and endanger our industry, transport, and infrastructure - corrosion works to destroy our world. Engineers and scientists are required to impede, monitor and control the rate of destruction with careful planning, material selection and much more to reduce the likelihood of catastrophe. 

Hopefully soon we will beat coronavirus, but when the pandemic is a distant memory, corrosion will still be costing valuable resources. This is why the experts will continue to develop strategies, tools and techniques to fight back. 

At Swansea University we have world leading research activities in the study of corrosion, and through the METaL Project our aim is to increase awareness and share our expertise. In honour of Corrosion Awareness Day, and with the understanding that routines are likely to be different from the norm this year, we wanted to share a simple experiment to help keep you and your family entertained, whilst also learning more about corrosion.


Simple Corrosion Experiment

You will need:

  • Two clean glasses
  • Some cola and distilled vinegar
  • Two old and well used one pence or two pence coins or two old iron nails

What to do:

  • Pour some cola into the first glass and drop in one coin or nail (submerged)
  • Pour some distilled vinegar into the second glass and drop in one coin or nail (submerged)
  • Allow 10-12 hours and then withdraw the coin and the nail from each glass, wash and observe the difference in appearance


Both liquids contain acids; Phosphoric Acid in the cola, and distilled vinegar contains Acetic Acid. The grime, dirt and oxide film built up on the coin and/or nail will have disappeared due to interaction with the acids in the liquid. The rate of change or degree of scale grime removed from the surface is dependent upon concentration of acid.


This year the World Corrosion Organization (WCO) has organized a webinar dealing with Corrosion and Low Carbon Energies. The topic is of paramount interest at the moment because of the shift from fossil fuel-based energy production to low carbon energies. Click here to learn more about the Webinar.

To learn about the short course on corrosion and coating click for industry offered by METAL click here.