The Importance of Corrosion Protection for Industrial Components
Corrosion protection for industrial components is critical. Learn everything there is to know below.
According to in-depth research, corrosion costs the production and manufacturing industry up to 17.6 million dollars per annum. Even the oil and gas industry is not left out, as the total cost of dealing with corrosion is estimated to be up to $1.372 billion.
This costly problem is seen almost everywhere: in machinery, on buildings, tools like knives, spanners, etc., and other equipment. This makes corrosion of the most significant and worrying issue in many industries.
Since corrosion is such a costly issue, understanding its causes is vital. This makes it easier to take the necessary steps to prevent or combat it adequately.
What is Corrosion?
Corrosion is a condition that occurs when metals react with natural elements like water and oxygen to form sulfides, oxides, or hydroxides. The most common cause of corrosion is iron oxide, which is prevalent in manufacturing components.
Polymers and ceramics also experience corrosion, though this condition takes time to occur in these materials before the onset of other forms of degradation.
If corrosion is not dealt with, it can result in severe downtime and failure of vital components.
How to Prevent or Combat Corrosion
Preventing or combatting corrosion – in order to keep machine components functioning for extended periods – can occur in several ways:
- Use Materials Highly Resistant to Corrosion
The #1 way to prevent this is to utilize corrosion-resistant materials. These are materials or formulated alloys such as 310 stainless steel, nickel aluminum, etc.
But there is one significant downside: manufacturing components made up of only these corrosion-resistant materials can be very expensive. Justifying the cost is another challenge due to the limited service life of that specific components.
Moreover, it is practically impossible to harden most of these corrosion-resistant materials to a high-enough hardness in order to prevent wear and tear.
You may have to sacrifice wear and tear characteristics for corrosion protection. The corrosion-resistant component will have an excellent life versus corrosion. But it would quickly fail due to the production environment’s everyday wear and tear operation.
- Keep Machine Components Clean from Dirt and Debris
Another vital way of preventing corrosion is by keeping all metal components clean. Getting rid of every outer material that has the potential of causing corrosion helps delay those chemical reactions that trigger the deterioration of metals.
The only way to keep all metal machine components clean is via regular maintenance schedules as well as time out of production. Ensure multiple machine components are stored and readily accessible if you need to rotate a specific component out of service for cleaning.
This helps with downtime, though it can be pretty expensive to keep spare parts sitting on the shelf. Therefore, keep all metal components clean and dry. Store them in climate-controlled environments as much as possible, though this may not always be possible.
- Use Sacrificial Metals
This is a unique method of protecting metals from corrosion. For instance, steel can be protected when positioned adjacently to a dissimilar metal. The metallic element protects the steel from corrosion if magnesium or zinc is placed in direct contact with steel.
In this instance, the magnesium or zinc serve as sacrificial metals that protect the steel in every direction as well as the area of immediate contact. This is why magnesium or zinc blocks protect water tank interiors, ship hulls, other submerged metallic surfaces, etc.
- Impressed Current
Using appropriate controls and current-generating equipment makes it possible to reproduce a current that is equal in strength to the corroding current. However, the current must flow in the opposite direction for effectiveness.
This type of protection from corrosion is usually limited to buried tanks, pipelines, etc. These require careful layout and engineering because if not used properly, impressed current can actually stimulate and promote corrosion.
- Cortec M-535
Cortec M-535 is a brand-new lubricant additive that provides advanced corrosion protection and utmost compatibility for ashless oil systems. This is highly valuable for turbines, gearboxes, as well as other lubricant systems incredibly at risk for corrosion due to trapped water or moisture.
Cortec M-535 effectively counters the ultimate failure and downtime critical components can bring about due to corrosion. This is possible via 2 unique features.
The first feature that Cortec M-535 exhibits is its exceptional vapor-phase action, while the second feature is its ashless chemistry. Compatibility with the base oil is highly recommended for additives.
Cortec M-535 was primarily designed with only the needs of ashless oils in mind and an extreme understanding of every ashless performance requirement. It has now been formulated for extended use in several general lubrication systems requiring less ashless chemistry and turbines.
- Protection from the Elements
Corrosion generally occurs when metal is exposed to the elements, especially water and air. Therefore, you can prevent corrosion by ensuring all machine components are kept away from surplus or unneeded water sources. They should be protected within climate-controlled environments.
However, this can be challenging within the manufacturing industry or the oil and gas industry. Most machine components used in these industries generally work extensively in harsh industrial environments.
For instance, down-hole tooling may not always come in direct or close contact with water. But it encounters soil and drilling sludge, and both contain water as well as other corrosive materials.
The same factor goes for pump components. It is also impossible to implement in each working environment.
- Thermal Spray
Using thermal sprays is another ethical and economical solution for combatting corrosion.
Thermal spray can overlay metal, budget-friendly machine components with corrosion-resistant materials. Adding a protective coating or layer to components prevents corrosion and delays wear and tear and erosion damage.
Thermal spray can even be used to fix the surface of machine components already showing signs of corrosion.
Corrosion is a costly problem that many industries are battling every year. It causes severe downtimes and loss of revenue when left to its own devices. This is why putting measures in place to prevent or combat corrosion is key to the progress and success of processes in any industry.
The methods of preventing corrosion highlighted in this article help combat this industrial and expensive problem.
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