How to protect data centre from the threat of electronic corrosion and abrupt failures?

Data centre is always prone to corrosion because of the harmful environment created by the infiltration of outdoor particulates and gaseous contaminants

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The deteriorating quality of air is one of the most significant threats to the environment today. The downturn is mainly caused due to Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) and Atmospheric particulates like smoke and dust.


While we spend significant time focussing on outdoor air condition, we tend to ignore the indoor air quality (IAQ) of our offices where we spend most of our time. The worsen IAQ not only harms our vital body organs but also affects the efficacy of our work machines. Amongst the two components, airborne molecular contamination is considered more harmful and destructive.

It is a form of chemical contamination generated due to the vapour of gases. These gases are highly corrosive in nature and continuously emanate from nearby pollutant sources which can easily seep into your air-conditioned server rooms data centres/ control rooms, switchgear rooms, process control and signalling/switching rooms. These containment gases along with high humidity affect the operational capability, reliability and longevity of process control equipment. They lead to micro-electronic corrosion and equipment malfunction which further causes downtime losses.

Electronic components are a complex assembly of metallic and non-metallic materials which are highly susceptible to corrosion. Electronic corrosion, if left untreated, can affect electronic components such as:


Film Disk: Stored information could get lost at the reaction site. Additionally, as reaction products accumulate, mechanical failure can occur on data tracks, previously not corroded.

Edge Connectors: These connectors are situated on the circuit boards, made solely of copper, or are gold-plated over a nickel-plated copper substrate. Corrosion can easily lead to disruption in the connector points and affect data transfer.

Disk Drives: The formation of disk drives is such that, it makes them highly susceptible to electronic corrosion even in an indoor environment.


Undoubtedly, Molecular gaseous contaminants are unhealthy for IT and sensitive electronic equipment. Sulfur-bearing gases, such as Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) are the most common gases causing corrosion of electronic equipment. SO2 and H2S alone are not very corrosive to silver or copper but the combination of these gases with gases such as NO2 and/or Ozone is extremely destructive. The corrosion rate of copper is a strong function of relative humidity, while the corrosion rate of silver has lesser dependence on humidity. If corrosive gases and contaminants are overlooked, it creates an unhealthy environment for employees too.

Especially, data centres located in industrial townships like Noida (Delhi NCR), Okhla industrial area (Delhi), Malad (Mumbai), etc. are more prone to gaseous contaminants. Data centres are always prone to corrosion because of the harmful environment created by the infiltration of outdoor particulates and gaseous contaminants. If the facilities are situated near landfill sites, sewerage/drains, high-density traffic, process industries, etc., the corrosion problem is even worse.

Hence, protecting the data equipment and servers from any potential contamination threat is a vital step in ensuring the good health and continued viability of your Datacom equipment and servers. The ultimate solution to corrosion lies in Gas Phase Filtration, which involves passing the contamination-laden air stream through a bed of dry media placed in a properly designed housing.

DataCenter Air Purifier (DAP) is an ideal way for the protection of data centres. It is uniquely designed to keep the corrosive gases away from damaging the hardware by effectively removing the airborne gaseous through the process of adsorption and chemisorption. This helps in protecting the data centres from the threat of electronic corrosion and abrupt failures.

By Dinesh Gupta, director, Bry-Air (Asia)