Corrosion Rates of Metals

Corrosion for Everybody by Alec Groysman

Carbon Steel

First Year
Annual Corrosion Rate Rate

Steady State
Annual Corrosion Rate Rate

Dry Indoors Location

<1.3 micrometers

<0.1 micrometers

Desert Location or Urban Area (non polluted)

1.3 to 25 micrometers

0.1 to 1.5 micrometers

Mild Marine/Mild Industrial Location

25-50 micrometers

1.5 to 6 micrometers

Marine Location (Calm Sea)

50-80 micrometers

6-20 micrometers

Marine Location (Beach Surf)

80-200 micrometers

20-90 micrometers

Notes: 1 millimeter is subdivided by 1,000 micrometers.

Example: A 100mm thick carbon steel plate left to rust just a few hundred meters inland of a beach (Mild Marine Location), would take about 27,000 years to completely corrode away to nothing. However, for a vehicle like a tank or APC, water would tend to get trapped in certain areas, leading to a higher corrosion rate in those regions. But the vehicle would still remain recognizable as what it was for a very long time.