Corrosion of buried metals

Major influences on the corrosion of uncoated metallic objects buried in the earth include galvanic effects; chemical composition, oxygen content, and pH of the soil; alloy selection; and stray currents.
Soil containing organic acids derived from humus is relatively corrosive to steel, zinc, lead, and copper. The measured total acidity of such a soil appears to be a better index of its corrosivity than pH alone. High concentrations of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate in poorly drained soil make the soil very corrosive. A poorly conducting soil, whether low in content of moisture, dissolved salts, or both, is generally less corrosive than a highly conducting soil. However, conductivity alone is not a sufficient index of corrosivity; the anodic or cathodic polarization characteristics of a soil are also a factor.
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