Investigation of Rusting on Stainless Steel Railings

MAEK Consulting was engaged as a material consultant to investigate the rusting issue occurring on stainless steel railings in a residential estate. A thorough inspection was carried out on all stainless-steel railings to determine the severity of this issue and possible causes of rusting.

Passivation test and microscopy analysis were conducted to determine the source of rusting. In-situ passivation measurements were conducted to selected railings, to understand the potential difference of the railing’s surface. Microscopy analysis was conducted showing surface unevenness and pitting (subsurface and deep pitting) on the railing surface. It is likely these surface characteristics that contributed to the rusting occurrence on the stainless-steel surface.

With this, proposals for repair and mitigation methods of further rusting of the stainless-steel railing was provided to ensure such corrosion was minimized.

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