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Lasting Fastening

Corrosion Resistant Stainless Steel at Columbia Fasteners

The natural and most stable form of iron is iron ore, iron oxide, or rust. Steel alloys are materials manufactured from the combination of iron other elements (mostly metallic elements). However, most metallic elements want to return to their natural, most stable atomic state. Through the process of oxidation, when iron is left out in the rain, iron oxide or rust will form. Hence, iron rust fastest when it gets wet.

Galvanic corrosion occurs when materials of metallic origins with different galvanic series undergo an oxidation process. Accelerated galvanic corrosion occurs when galvanic materials are in contact with moisture, and increases with water temperature, particularly seawater, freshwater with high mineral content, or polluted water.

The galvanic series (see below) table shows that the most unstable metal element (or most reactive metals) will oxidize more readily than a more stable metal element, meaning magnesium, for example, will corrode before gold. No serious galvanic action will occur by combining the same metals only dissimilar ones. The metals listed at the top of the table below will corrode last and is least corrosive due to galvanic reaction before those at bottom of the table that are most corrosive.

Galvanic Series: Nobility of Common Metals


Most Noble/Least Reactive
  • Gold
  • Titanium
  • Stainless
  • Bronze
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Steel
  • Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
Least Noble/Most Reactive