I am getting fed up with the corrosion at the negative or positive terminals of Duracell AA and AAA batteries that come preinstalled (from the manufacturer/distributor) in wireless motion detectors and door/window contacts, as well as corrosion within the devices after a year or two on the job site, all residential.
Are there any tricks to prevent corrosion? Vaseline, jells, etc? Does anyone have a clue as to the root cause of corrosion? I know that water/high moisture is a prime catalyst especially on door switches that are near the bottom of an exterior door. Does the passage of voltage from the battery to the battery holder have an effect, and if so, how? It's also obvious (duhhh)that if the battery(s) are absent from the battery holder compartment there is never any corrosion in the holder.
I don't have that problem but as a (salt water) boat owner for many years, I have successfully used Vaseline and conducting Silicone grease on electr ical connections. The Vaseline was used on boat battery terminals and the s ilicone was used on smaller electrical connections. Both very messy to work with but did the job. The only place I could get the Silicone grease in my area was at an automot ive parts store. Comes in small squeeze tubes. Just need to smear a coating on connections with just a little excess.
I got the idea about the Silicon from observing that the TV cable guys woul d use it under their rubber connection boots that they would cover their ou tdoor connections with.
With regard to your question about the source of the corrosion ==== again drawing from my boating experience ---- Boats, particularly in salt water have to have what are called sacrificial zincs installed on any metal s that are submerged in the salt water. Such as propeller shafts, rudders, water intakes, etc. Also, all metal objects that protrude through the hull, into the water must be connected inside the boat with a common wire. If th is isn't done what takes place is Galvanic corrosion.
If you put a electrolyte (salt water) between two dissimilar metals within close proximity to one another === if the metal objects have the slig htest difference in electrical potential, the object with the highest elect rical potential will lose it's substance ion by ion and be attracted to the object with the lowest potential (cathode) resulting in a "corrosion" of t he object of the highest potential.
In other words electro-plating
However, even if there is no difference in potential, the metal with the gr eatest "nobility" will lose it's ions to a metal in close proximity of lowe r "nobility" in the presence of some sort of electrolyte or if touching one another.
In your case the moisture in the air is the "electrolyte" and how long the battery (anode) is in contact with the battery clip (cathode).
Just an aside === you'll note that most/all battery clips are "shiny" . This is because stainless steel is very low on the "nobility" list and is a good way to reduce the Galvanic process. So it's likely that the quality of the stainless steel clips are a factor also.
This is also the reason that the small lithium button cells are stainless. Since they last so long, they would corrode if they were made of a more "no ble" metal.
Try the Silicon or Vaseline. It will likely last as long as the battery but as I say, it's messy especially when changing batteries.
I was able to get dielectric silicone grease from ADI in squeeze tubes much cheaper than any local source. Decent size squeeze tubes. Big enough to get your hand around. I still have one in my specialty lubes cabinet in the shop.