The Importance of Corrosion Resistance in Light Poles

The Importance of Corrosion Resistance in Light Poles

Steel light pole with rust on it.

Nothing lasts forever, and this includes light poles. Because they are installed outdoors, light poles experience constant exposure to the elements along with a host of other things. This exposure can cause corrosion which weakens their structural integrity.

For any light pole project, it’s important to consider the ways in which the poles can resist corrosion, especially in certain environments that can accelerate the corrosion process. Not doing so can cause serious reliability and safety issues in the future.

In this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to corrosion and how to prevent it. We will also feature the wide range of LightMart's corrosion-resistant light poles in the process.

The Science of Corrosion

Corrosion is a naturally occurring, diffusion-controlled process that occurs on exposed surfaces. It transforms a processed metal into a more chemically stable oxide. It is defined as the gradual deterioration of a substance (usually metal) by chemical or electrochemical reactions with its environment.

Most types of metals are oxidized easily. They tend to lose electrons to oxygen that is present in the air or water. As oxygen gains electrons (is reduced), it forms an oxide with the metal.

The most common types of corrosion are a result of electrochemical reactions. General corrosion happens when most (or all) of the atoms on the same metal surface are oxidized. This damages the entire surface. Corrosion can also be locally concentrated causing a pit or crack to form.

Common factors that contribute to corrosion include moisture, salt, and air pollutants.

It’s important to note that rust is a type of corrosion and corrosion is a type of oxidation. All rust is corrosion, while not all corrosion is rust.

Why Corrosion is a Problem

Light pole anchor base that is rusting.

Corrosion on a light pole will gradually weaken and compromise its structural integrity. It can lead to safety hazards and increased maintenance costs.