Corrosion & Salt Spray Course

The course consists of 7 lessons. Each one contains a wealth of valuable, practical information. And if you score 70 or above on the optional exam, you’ll receive 1 credit toward certification as a Master Surface Finisher. MSF is the world’s most respected – and most widely recognized – designation for finishing industry professionals. Those passing 6 course exams earn the coveted MSF designation.

Course Options

  • Home-Study

    Tuition: $1100 | Member Tuition: $800

  • Optional Exam

    Tuition: $250 | Member Tuition: $150

  • Who Benefits

    This training program is beneficial for operators of accelerated corrosion tests and supervisors of metal finishing shops and captive shops that have in-house corrosion testing capability or that outsource testing to outside laboratories. The course is also beneficial to sales personnel serving the metal finishing industry, as it covers valuable information about the corrosion resistance of various coatings.


    The goal of this course is to provide the student with a general knowledge of common corrosion mechanisms, how they are employed in accelerated corrosion tests, and best operating practices for conducting accelerated corrosion testing.

  • At the conclusion of this course, attendees can expect to:
      • Understand basic corrosion mechanisms involved in accelerated corrosion tests.
      • Understand the levels of corrosion protection afforded by commonly applied electroplated deposits.
      • Understand equipment used for salt spray and other accelerated corrosion tests, along with best operating practices.
      • Have a basic understanding of the differences between the common alternative accelerated corrosion tests such as CASS, Corrodkote, Acetic Acid and Kesternich tests.
      • Be able to identify and correct the most commonly encountered causes of salt spray failures.
      • Be prepared to take the examination, which is part of the Foundation MSF certification program.

Course Description

1. Corrosion Principles, Tests & Design for Corrosion Protection, Part 1
This lesson begins by identifying the most common mechanisms for the on-set of corrosion. The lesson then describes the galvanic/Electromotive Force Series of metals and how they apply to corrosion of plated parts. The concept of galvanic corrosion cells is further developed to include stressed metal corrosion mechanisms. Students are taught how these mechanisms are incorporated into accelerated corrosion test chambers. How various coatings may or may not afford sacrificial corrosion protections is a main focus of this lesson.
2. Corrosion Principles, Tests & Design for Corrosion Protection, Part 2
In part 2 of this lesson, differential oxygen concentration corrosion, fretting corrosion, and stress corrosion cracking are covered. A secondary focus of this lesson is the design factors that go into a part that successfully resists (or fails) corrosion tests. The lesson also covers ASTM B456 requirements for electroplated copper-nickel-chromium deposits.
3. Equipment for Salt Spray Testing
This lesson provides equipment guidelines for conducting accelerated corrosion testing with a focus on the salt spray test. Each major component, from the cabinet to the spray nozzle is described in detail along with a discussion of the differences in design between various suppliers.
4. Salt Spray Cabinet Maintenance & Operation
This lesson provides a detailed look at operational conditions that can affect the test results. Special attention is given to monitoring of the chamber conditions and record keeping.
5. Preparing, Exposing & Evaluating Parts
This lesson explores the most often mentioned question regarding salt spray testing; “how should parts be masked, exposed and evaluated?” Numerous examples are provided. Students are also taught how to handle parts before and after testing, and how to recognize surface corrosion.
6. Alternate Accelerated Corrosion Tests
This lesson provides basic information on other accelerated corrosion tests such as CASS, Corrodkote, Acetic Acid, and Kesternich tests, with a special focus on the increasingly popular CASS (Copper Accelerated Slat Spray) test. An important part of this lesson is how to conduct a corrosivity test on a CASS test chamber. Equipment and operational differences between the alternate and the salt spray test are also given.
7. Salt Spray Failures
The salt spray test may indicate a failure of a coating, even when the coating has been properly applied. This is most commonly found on aluminum test panels that have been conversion coated and on sulfuricboric anodized aluminum test panels processed per aerospace specifications. This lesson goes over potential causes of failures that include problems in conducting the test, problems with the test panels and problems on the processing lines. The lesson focuses heavily on operational conditions that might be overlooked—wrong exposure angle, for example.