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Fundamentals of Corrosion

Electrolytic Corrosion

Conducting Fluids

Conducting fluids are fluids that allow electricity to flow through the fluid. In many cases it is impurities in the fluid that allow the electricity to flow, not the fluid itself. 

Air is a compressible fluid. 

Air conducts electricity, but it is such a poor conductor that it is often used an an insulator. As the air pressure incraeses, the conductivity goes down. That is why it is necessary to have electrical potentials of 20,000 volts or more to force an electrical current across the gap on a spark plug. As the compression of the engine goes up, the arcing voltage increases. Supercharged engines with very high compression ratios require 50,000 volts or more of electrical potential to provide a reliable spark.

Pure water is a non-conductor, or insulator. The impurities in the water, which are normally measured in parts per million, are what actually carries the electrical current through the water. It takes only a very small concentration of impurities to conduct a large amount of current with a minimum of resistance.

Salt water, rain water, lake water, river water, and well water are all excellent conducting fluids.

Most hydrocarbons are non-conducting fluids and they are excellent insulators.  TC-11 is an excellent insulator.

TC-11 Home Page

Fundamentals of Corrosion

Electrolytic Corrosion