Reliability of sea water equipment is dependant on the behaviour of materials in such environment. Nevertheless, sea water is such a complex medium that corrosion rates and phenomena are not yet completely understood. Some parameters predominate, but all sea water properties have to be considered as capable of inducing or conditioning material damage:
- The material having the possibility to be deployed in marine environment are metallic materials (thermoplastics, thermosets, graphite, concrete).
- The main parameters to be taken into account are salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen content, pH and sea water velocity. It is also necessary to consider the living contents of the sea. Animals and algae and especially microbial activity can induce various corrosion types. In addition, hydrostatic pressure can modify se water physical-chemical properties.