In the study of a corrosion phenomenon, corrosion product analysis can only be regarded as a part, albeit essential, of the whole investigation. The content to which any corrosion process, and its manifestations, is studied is governed by several factors, which include the information required, the motive behind the investigation (research or industrial), the relevance of laboratory tests with respect to service conditions and the cost of the work. The ad hoc solutions of a plant engineer are often satisfactory over an indefinite period but they can only rarely be regarded as the complete answer to a particular corrosion problem although they will permit the plant to carry on in operation. The corrosion engineer must be able to justify his proposed research or fundamental investigations into a corrosion process from a cost and time standpoint.
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