Service life of any weapon system depends upon factors that impart long-term durability and robustness to its structure and subsystems in the operating environment, while sustaining its functional properties. When the operating environment is corrosive and highly stressful to component materials used, corrosion effects become dominant and compromise the system integrity. Invariably operating environments dictate the chemical (more accurately electrochemical), physical and mechanical behavior of materials used in the weapon system, be it an aircraft, ship, land vehicle, tank, missile or submarine. In other words, the more corrosive the environment, the lower is the service life. The paper describes some basic principles and guidelines on corrosion control and rules that could be easily followed to ascertain some specified service life and reduce total ownership costs.
Keyword: operating environment, service life, material selection, engineering design, corrosion protection, monitoring sensors, NDE/I, dissimilar joints, education, acquisition policy