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Can a magnet cause a metal to increase it's corrosion rate

February 2, 2010

Q. I am in a corrosion class and I thought about using magnets that can cause corrosion as my project this semester. my thought was with magnets either being positive or negative they could possibly change the pos and neg ions in an atom to increase a corrosion rate or maybe even slow the corrosion rate down as a preventative measure. is this possible?

Scott Rice
student - Kilgore, Texas

simultaneous February 3, 2010

A. Boats use zincs to do exactly that. Buried pipelines use zinc or magnesium placed periodically to provide a tiny current that will corrode the material and protect the pipeline.
Using a magnet probably will not generate the tiny DC current/voltage, so that probably will not work. If you use an external DC power source, the voltage will need to be tightly controlled. Remember, it will require a counter electrode that can live in the solution.
Depending on the magnet material, it may promote or retard the corrosion, but that is based on the battery that it forms and not magnetism.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

February 4, 2010

thumbs up sign Scott,

Well, you have your Null Hypothesis, now do the experiment and report your findings...

Brian Terry
Aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, UK

February 8, 2010

A. For a magnet to produce a voltage you need a conductor that moves and cuts the magnetic field. A steady magnet will not generate any voltage. Perhaps your experiment has a source of movement.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

June 22, 2021

Re: the question - Can a magnet cause a metal to increase its corrosion rate?
I attached a Rare Earth (Neodymium) Magnet to the inside of my van's steel side panel and after a year, a ring of rust appeared on the outside.

Michael Rowland
Inexpert observation - Sydney Australia

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