How to reduce corrosion risk in buildings

Corrosion resistant design for support & fastening systems

Natural gas processing plant

Corrosion matters. It can make structures unsafe and unstable. It can also lead to components and whole installations needing to be replaced. All of which can be costly in money, time and with a risk of injury. So what can you do?


Where are you building? That’s the key question for corrosion protection. What environment, what climate are you working in, and what material are you fastening into?

Corrosion takes different forms in different environments. So for your build, you need to consider the factors which can increase the risk of corrosion:

  • Humidity
    Humidity needs to be present for any atmospheric reaction.
  • Temperature
    The higher the temperature, the higher the rate of corrosion will be.
  • Salt
    This can be air containing salt near a coast, or from de-icing salt in the winter.
  • Industrial pollution
    High levels of sulphur dioxide speed up corrosive reactions.
  • Galvanic (contact) corrosion
    Caused by two dissimilar materials coming into contact.

Some environments, such as indoor swimming pools, tunnels or chemical plants will need special consideration, and our local Hilti engineers are always happy to give you technical advice.


Corrosion is caused when there’s a physical chemical reaction between metal and the environment around it. Corrosion changes the metal’s properties, making it much weaker. Corrosion can also damage the installation system as well as the metal component and its protection. This can leave the entire installation unsafe and needing to be replaced.

There are two types of corrosion protection to help you increase the life expectancy of metal components you use onsite. These are active and passive corrosion protection. Active corrosion protection directly influences a corrosive reaction by either using resistant materials, a galvanic separation or cathodic protection. Passive corrosion protection stops or slows down corrosion by separating metal from a corrosive agent. This is achieved by applying metallic or non-metallic protective layers of coating.

On jobsites, corrosion resistance is one of the most underestimated aspects when it comes to fastening products. Knowing the facts can help the customer to find a suitable and sustainable solution.

Alexander Tomandl
Corrosion Expert - Hilti Corporate Research and Technology

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Our local Hilti engineers are here to help you and can meet you on site to see first hand what might work best for your build. We also make and design a full range of corrosion protection.