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Galvanic Corrosion Chart

Galvanic corrosion is the corrosion that results when two dissimilar metals with different potentials are placed in electrical contact in an electrolyte.

A difference in electrical potential exists between the different metals and serves as the driving force for electrical current flow through the corrodant or electrolyte. This current results in corrosion of one of the metals. The larger the potential difference, the greater the probability of galvanic corrosion.

Galvanic corrosion only causes deterioration of one of the metals. The less resistant, active metal becomes the anodic corrosion site. The stronger, more noble metal is cathodic and protected.

Galvanic corrosion potential is a measure of how dissimilar metals will corrode when placed against each other in an assembly. Metals close to one another on the chart generally do not have a strong effect on one another, but the farther apart any two metals are separated, the stronger the corroding effect on the one higher in the table.

This table lists the potential differences for various metals in water. The order of the series can change for different electrolytes (for example, different pH, ions in solution).

I have omitted Stainless steel alloys from this table as they can significantly change their potential and become much more active if exposed to stagnant or poorly aerated water.


Electrode Potential at 77 F (25 C)
Anodic end (this is where the corrosion occurs)
Element
Standard Electrode Potential (Volts)
Lithium
-3.045

Anodic end

 

 

Cathodic end

Potassium
-2.920
Sodium
-2.712
Magnesium
-2.340
Beryllium
-1.700
Aluminum
-1.670
Manganese
-1.050
Zinc
-0.762
Chromium
-0.744
Iron; Mild Steel
-0.440
Cadmium
-0.402
Yellow Brass
-0.350
50-50 Tin-Lead Solder
-0.325
Cobalt
-0.277
Nickel
-0.250
Tin
-0.136
Lead
-0.126
Hydrogen reference electrode
0.000
Titanium
+0.055
Copper
+0.340
Mercury
+0.789
Silver
+0.799
Carbon
+0.810
Platinum
+1.200
Gold
+1.420
Graphite
+2.250
Cathodic end, passive - (no corrosion here)



ref: DOE-HDBK-1015/1-93