Contamination due to the use of airside economizer has become a major issue that cost companies revenue. This issue will continue to rise as server components become smaller, densely packed, and as companies move into more polluted environments. Contaminants with small particles less than 10 μm are not noticeable; yet, these particles are most likely to get to areas where they can cause damage. Dust from different sources and suspended in air settles on surfaces of electrical components. The dust mainly contains two components: salts and metallic particles. The salts may be neutral or corrosive and the nature of the salt depends on the deliquescent humidity. For metallic particles, surveys are performed in various data centers in order to determine the limits in terms of weight per unit area and particle size distribution. It is necessary to first identify those contaminants that directly affect the information technology (IT) equipment in the data center. In this research, a real-world data center utilizing airside economization in an ANSI/ISA classified G2 environment was chosen for the study. Servers were removed and qualitative study of cumulative corrosion damage was carried out. The particulate contaminants were collected from different locations of a server and material characterization was performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The analysis from these results helps to explain the impact of the contaminants on IT equipment reliability.

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