Overview of the physical phenomenon, material selection guide and MALTEP solutions

Physical Phenomena

Discover the physics behind the galvanic corrosion

Description of the galvanic corrosion phenomenon

Galvanic corrosion is the result of the following three conditions:

  • Metals of different nature
  • Contact between these metals
  • Presence of water, thus oxygen
The 3 factors for galvanic corrosion

To reduce galvanic corrosion it is therefore necessary eliminate one of the three conditions. The suppression of metals and water or oxygen present being impossible, it is recommended to avoid the direct contact between metals of different nature.

Galvanic corrosioninduces an electrical current flowing between metals. This current generates a matalic ion exchange. The anode releases metalic ions, conversely, the cathode is charged with ions:

The steel dissolves (corrosion) bu depositing on copper (blackening) and in water. The difference of potential induced by the electric current is altering the less noble metal (the anode)

Material selection guide

Check the galvanic compatibility of materials

Choose compatible materials

Simply check the compatibility between the materials in contact. The columns and rows represent the two materials in contact:

  • Green: The combination is safe
  • Yellow: The combination presents a low risk
  • Red: The combination is not suitable

Stainless steel
A2 (304)
Copper Brass Copper bonded steel Stainless steel
A4 (316)
Steel Galvanized steel Aluminium Zinc

Stainless steel
A2 (304)



Copper bonded steel

Stainless steel
A4 (316)


Galvanized steel



MALTEP Solutions

Discover MALTEP solutions

Simple and effective solutions

The range of MALTEP products includes a wide choice of materials, it is recommended to respect some simple rules in order to reduce the galvanic couple effect, to reduce the risk of corrosion and to ensure the sustainability of your equipments.

Respect as much as possible the homogeneity of the materials in contact

If the first solution is not possible, MALTEP offers different bimetallic products in copper and aluminium (lugs, plates and washers)

Discover some examples of products with bimetallic elements

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