Cost of Corrosion – Electronics


Corrosion in electronic components manifests itself in several ways. Computers, integrated circuits, and microchips are now an integral part of all technology-intensive industry products, ranging from aerospace and automotive to medical equipment and consumer products, and are therefore exposed to a variety of environmental conditions. Corrosion in electronic components are insidious and can not be readily detected; therefore, when corrosion failure occurs, it is often dismissed as just a failure and the part or component is replaced.

Because of the difficulty to detect and identify corrosion failures, the cost of corrosion is difficult to determine. Arguably, in many instances, particularly in the case of consumer electronics, such devices would become technologically obsolete long before corrosion-induced failures. In addition, while corrosion-related user costs, due to irretrievable lost data, could be staggering, as the electronic information and data exchanges become more intensive, most sensitive information is frequently backed up. Capital-intensive industries with significant investments in durable equipment with a considerable number of electronic components, such as the defense industry, and the airline industry, tend to keep the equipment for longer periods of time, where corrosion is likely to become an issue. Although the cost of corrosion in the electronics sector could not be estimated, it has been suggested that a significant part of all electric component failures are caused by corrosion