Replacing and Maintaing the Global Infrastructure

Over $60 Trillion Needed to Combat Corrosion of Global Infrastructure

A staggering new estimate of the cost of corrosion over the next 15 years says we will need to spend at least $60 trillion globally just to upgrade and maintain the existing infrastructure. This includes the cost of replacing and upgrading bridges, railroads, highways, power generation, telecommunications, and water facilities around the world. However, the recommendations suggested by this study to mitigate the problems are:

“McKinsey recommends improving:

  • Strategic sourcing
  • Demand consolidation
  • Contractor development
  • Lean execution
  • Project organization/governance planning optimization
  • Increasing infrastructure construction productivity
  • Getting more from existing capacity”

That misses the point: we need to attack corrosion at its source by understanding the likely causes of failures and preventing them. This requires a combination of efforts:

  1. Appropriate materials selection, design, and maintenance.
  2. Integrity management programs provide an effective means to predict and prevent corrosion.
  3. Just as importantly, proper design and selection can prevent many failures from occurring.
  4. Advances in the development of new steel and other metal alloys, inspection technologies, and quality assurance are all likely to provide better management and prevention of corrosion.

Metallurgists at G2MT Labs and other companies are working hard on all of these topics. What approaches do you find are most effective against corrosion?

 

ASTM B117 Salt fog testing of coated metal samples by G2MT Labs

The importance of corrosion testing

Without corrosion tests, we would expect many more failures to occur. That is the importance of corrosion testing.

ASTM B117 Salt fog testing of coated metal samples by G2MT Labs

Corrosion Testing by ASTM B117 Salt Fog Test

As society advances, we are continually pushing technologies to their limits. This applies to materials and metals just as well as to computers, and it means that safety is always being challenged by improvement. To meet this challenge, a wide range of corrosion tests have been created to evaluate materials performance in the simulated or real environment. Many of these tests involve simulated analyses in a laboratory to reduce or eliminate the impacts of corrosion.

We perform many different corrosion tests with goals such as: (1) determining the rate of corrosion over time – for example ASTM G31, (2) evaluating for susceptible materials such as ASTM A262, (3) analyzing the effect of hydrogen on material, and (4) assessing in-field corrosion testing. These tests often provide the critical last line of protection that prevents unacceptable materials from being used.

 

We welcome your input and comments: How have you seen corrosion testing make an impact in the world?

 

How to evaluate intergranular corrosion in stainless steels

Stainless steels are widely used in almost every industry, and they work quite well when heat treated properly. However, when improper heat treatment occurs they are susceptible to intergranular corrosion (IGC), which can lead to problems and premature failure. Unfortunately, there is no visual or NDE method that can reliably find intergranular corrosion. ASTM established the A262 corrosion test to find intergranular corrosion before the materials go into use. In critical applications, IGC testing by A262 may be required for every batch of materials.

Often A262 Method A is used first as a quick screen to see if the steel is susceptible to integranular corrosion. If the steel fails Method A, then one of the other methods (B, C, E, or F) are selected depending on the alloy and other considerations. G2MT Labs provides ASTM A262 testing along with the metallurgical and corrosion expertise to help you with any issues that may arise.

A923 Testing of Duplex Stainless Steels by G2MT Labs

ASTM Corrosion Testing of Duplex Stainless Steels by G2MT Labs

Corrosion of valves and flanges

Corrosion and you

How does corrosion affect you?  What can you do about corrosion?

Severe corrosion left this bolt exposed

Severe corrosion left this bolt exposed

The truth is corrosion is all around us and has an enormous, hidden impact on our economy. Every year, 6% of our GDP is lost to corrosion related costs. That’s almost half what we spend on medical costs, and more than almost any other single cost to our society besides medical. Once you start looking for it, you notice it’s virtually everywhere and often starts within days of the completion of a new building, structure, or component.

In the G2MT Labs blog, we will seek to explore these and other issues and welcome your input. All comments are moderated by our in-house staff.

So now we pose the question to you:

How does corrosion affect you in your everyday life, business, or otherwise?