3 Ways to Prevent Industrial Corrosion With Coatings and Linings
“Don’t mind it, it’s just a little rust.”
Have you heard this line before? People often underestimate the effects of corrosion. However, here at RAK, we take corrosion control very seriously.
A study sponsored by the FHWA and NACE revealed that the annual total cost of corrosion in the U.S. is a mindblowing $276 billion. That’s about 3.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)!
Rust can lead to shutdown or replacement of equipment, costly repairs, and loss of efficiency. On top of that, it can compromise the safety and health of your workers. If you’re a plant manager, corrosion should be among your list of concerns for the safe and optimal operation of the facility.
Prevention is still better than cure. Here are the three best ways to prevent metal from corroding.
1. Careful Material Selection and Design
No metal is completely safe from the threat of corrosion. That said, some metals repel rust better than others. For example, noble metals such as gold and platinum have very high corrosion resistance.
Of course, unless you’re Richie Rich, you can’t expect your plant to be made mostly from gold. There are more practical and often stronger choices, such as stainless steel or aluminum. These metals and their alloys have properties to stall oxidation, the chemical process that results in rusting.
The design of the part is equally important. The design should take into account the environment that the part will operate in.
For example, we know that corrosion happens more frequently in crevices where the corrosive medium can linger. During the design process, engineers should try to limit these dead spaces or allow the medium (e.g. water) to flow elsewhere.
2. Corrosion Control Through Coatings and Linings
A big part of the RAK service is offering a wide range of coatings and linings to various industries.
What do linings and coatings do? They shield the underlying metal from corrosive elements. They can either act as a protective barrier or as a sacrificial coating.
Protective coatings provide a physical and chemical barrier versus corrosion. One example is tin-plated steel, where tin, a more noble metal, covers the more susceptible iron. Other examples are powder coatings that are fused into the metal such as polyester, acrylic, and urethane.
Sacrificial coatings basically act as a decoy. They take the brunt of corrosion so that the primary metal doesn’t have to. Galvanizing is a good example, where steel is coated with zinc which is a more active metal.
3. Preventive Maintenance
Like aging, corrosion is a natural and inevitable process. However, there are things we can do to slow it down. Proper maintenance and monitoring will always be key.
Water is the number one enemy which is why it’s important to keep your metal clean and dry. Do not leave them outdoors or in an environment that’s conducive to corrosion. Keep on the lookout for scratches and nicks on the coatings so you’ll know if it’s time for re-treatment.
If You Rest, You Rust
Corrosion control is all about being proactive instead of reactive. These are the necessary steps to prolong the life of the metal of our valuable tools and equipment.
You won’t have to deal with corrosion if you can stop it from happening in the first place.
When corrosion strikes, it’s time for the experts to step in. Call us today for on-line leak and composite repairs. Our emergency services are available 24 hours a day!