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What is Air Corrosion?

Corrosion is the gradual destruction of material, usually metal, by chemical reaction with its immediate environment Corrosion is a natural process which cannot be stopped, but intervention with correct measures can control it Corrosion by Air (Gases) has largely been neglected in almost all IT and Data center companies, till recently Extremely low levels of contaminant gases can cause corrosive damage to electronic equipment (IT and Computer Systems)

Symptoms in IT & Data Centre

Failures & Outages of Discrete Electronic Components & PCB Boards Sporadic Circuit Failure Lower Energy Efficiency of Installed IT Equipment Inconsistency of Critical Data & Loss of Data Requirement for Frequent Replacement of Damaged Electronic Components Substantial Increase of Data Center Maintenance Costs

Who are Behind These Problems?

Environmental threats posed by Contaminant Gases, Airborne Particulates, Humidity & Temperature Even low levels of contaminant gases can cause corrosive damage to electronic equipment Contaminants, both internal & external (Gases) are responsible for causing problems related to Corrosion in the critical IT equipment These gases seep into data processing facilities from outside air, and cause damage

Where does this Problem Occur?

Data Centers IT Companies & IT enabled services BPOs/KPOs Telecom Companies News & Media Semi-conductors Distributed Control System (DCS) Motor Control Centers and Switch Rooms of Petrochemical units

How Does Corrosion Occur?

Corrosion is defined as the deterioration of a base metal resulting from a reaction with its environment In the context of electronic equipment, it refers to the reactions between the Copper and Silver surfaces that are present in the IT equipment When corrosive gases along with water vapor come in contact with a base metal, the reactions result in various chemical products, thus permanently damaging the properties of the component parts

How Does Corrosion Occur

Corrosion on a thin film disk may have serious results Because of accumulation of reaction products on the equipment, mechanical failures (head crashes, wear & tear) can occur on data tracks which were not corroded previously

Three Types of Corrosive Gases

Acidic Gases
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Sulfur Oxides (SOX) Chlorine (Cl2) Nitrogen Oxides (NOX)

Alkaline (Caustic) Gases

Ammonia (NH3)

Oxidizing Gases
Ozone (O3)

How Gases Generate?

External generation from auto emissions, heavy industrial pollution, heat and power generation Offices are more prone to air pollution from gaseous airborne contamination if it is situated near: Landfill sites Sewerage / Drains Swamp / Marshy Lands High density traffic Process Industry (emanating industrial effluents) Contaminants are very often generated in Data Processing and Computer Printing Facilities

Understanding the Risk

Data centers are generally diversified across multiple geographical areas Areas with higher atmospheric and air contamination requires greater attention into air quality management in data centers Requirement of Air Side Economization Major concern of Air Side Economization is the increase in the air contamination leading to corrosion of the metal components of the IT equipment

Understanding the Risk

Temperature Variation and Humidity act along with the gaseous contaminants, and potentially increase the threat of Air Corrosion Ensuring that IT Equipment are exposed to minimum risk

What Are The Environmental Standard Formulated?

Standards specifying the type and concentration of airborne contaminants that computers could be exposed to were developed by The Instrument Society of America (ISA)

ISA standard defines or characterizes environments in terms of their overall corrosion potential
Quantitative measure of corrosion potential can be established by using reactivity monitoring

Steps Involved in ISA

Reactivity monitoring involves placing strips of copper metal, called Corrosion Classification Coupons, into an environment for 30 days Coupons are then analyzed in a qualified laboratory to determine how much corrosion copper film formation in angstroms has occurred Data is used determination for the corrosion severity level of the environment Analyzed severity level refers to the potential damage that the corrosive gases in the air could cause

How to Measure the Corrosion?

Corrosion Management Strategy has three goals: Measuring the Composition of the Air in the Data Centre Establish the risk levels for the IT Equipment operated in the contaminated atmosphere (Metal Reactivity Monitoring) Design strategies to mitigate Corrosion effects. It has to be analyzed in the context of data center operating conditions

Four Levels of Corrosion Severity

Classification of Reactive Environments Severity Environmental Levels Description G1 G2 Mild Moderate Copper Reactivity Level < 300 < 1000 Environmental Reliability Corrosion not a factor Corrosion may be a factor High possibility of attack of Corrosion. Evaluate Environmental Monitoring & Control. Equipment Life Normal < 5 Years



< 2000

< 2 Years



> 2000

Extremely High rate of Corrosion. Only designed packaged equipment would be expected to survive.

< 1 Year

When Monitoring Should be done?

Before selection of site for setting up Data Centre After construction of the building structure After Setting up of the Data Centre Infrastructure, prior to commissioning Post commissioning, once every quarter, since Air quality changes every time along with seasons

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