Thermal shock is the process by which a temperature gradient causes separate areas of a material to expand differently, creating stress on the material. Once the stress exceeds the strength of the material, a crack forms and will begin to propagate through the material until the material ultimately fails.
Wear is an erosion process that occurs through surface contact. There are many environmental factors that can affect the wear rate of a material in operation such as stress loading, temperature, the type of surface contact, as well as the type of material.
A chemical corrosion inhibitor is a compound that, through many different mechanisms, can decrease the corrosion rate of a material (typically an alloy or pure metal) when added to a liquid or gas in contact with said material.
Microbially induced corrosion (MIC) is a type of corrosion that is either directly or indirectly caused by microorganisms, usually chemoautotrophs, and there are very few situations in which MIC cannot occur.
Passivation is a term that refers to a material becoming less affected by the operating environment. Generally passivation is used to strengthen and preserve the appearance of easily corroded metals.
Concrete has a tendency to ‘creep,’ or deform progressively under mechanical stress, which leads to many of the crumbling bridges and cracked roads we're now seeing across the US.