Coal Age

OCT 2018

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34 www.coalage.com October 2018 corrosion New Techniques for Tackling Corrosion As the saying goes, rust never sleeps, but mine and plant operators are waking up to new technologies for controlling it by russell a. carter, contributing editor From a global mining viewpoint, corrosion of materials and equipment might best be described as a universal problem that de- mands localized solutions. Differences in ore characteristics, extraction processes and chemicals, or environmental condi- tions mean that a corrosion-preventative product that works well at one site might be less effective at another. Although there are plenty of products available to help solve the industry's corro- sion concerns, it can be expensive to sink money into a one-size-fits-all solution that doesn't meet the specific conditions of a particular problem. Experts say there is no simple rule of thumb for selecting the most suitable coating product or system. Taking into account the many factors that promote corrosion requires a disciplined approach to solve — or at least manage — corrosion problems. The recommended and most cost-ef- fective approach is to study a corrosion problem first before choosing a product. Use tools currently available from sup- pliers and professional organizations to identify the cause and develop a solution. These range in complexity and scope from simple inspection checklists that can be completed by an on-site employ- ee and used by suppliers to recommend an appropriate product; or material and corrosion mapping audits conducted by specialist organizations; to top-down, enterprise-wide corrosion studies and ac- tion plans. It's been estimated that up to a quarter of all industrial corrosion prob- lems could be prevented by employing es- tablished, well-documented techniques. Combining Technology and Management One of the most ambitious recent efforts to organize and simplify corrosion manage- ment and prevention began in 2014 when NACE International conducted a global study designed to go beyond the economic effects of corrosion. It focused on how to integrate corrosion technology with orga- nizational management systems. NACE, a professional organization headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA, and originally founded as the National Association of Corrosion Engineers in 1943, is considered an authoritative source for corrosion man- agement training and technology, with about 36,000 members in 130 countries. IMPACT—The International Measures of Prevention, Application and Economics of Corrosion Technologies was released in 2016. One of its most significant findings was that the global cost of corrosion at the time amounted to an estimated $2.5 tril- lion, which was equivalent to 3.4% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at that time. The study determined that reduc- ing the astoundingly high cost of corrosion would require a change in how decisions are made. For example, while it is import- ant to continue investing in technology for corrosion control, putting this technology into an organizational management system context and justifying corrosion control ac- tions by business impact is essential. Building on the study's findings, the NACE International Institute (NII), an af- filiation of NACE International focused on helping companies improve their perfor- mance with corrosion management sys- tems and certification of personnel, started development of a platform to benchmark practices and improve corrosion manage- ment across all industry sectors. "Soon after we released the IMPACT study, we began to hear from respon- dents and focus group participants that they needed tools to put the report's find- ings into practice," said Elaine Bowman, IMPACT PLUS project manager. "They couldn't find any products to facilitate im- proved practices and asked us to develop a process that would help their companies manage, monitor and improve their corro- sion management activities." Working with the American Produc- tivity & Quality Center (APQC) — which specializes in benchmarking, best prac- tices, process and performance improve- ment, and knowledge management. NII developed IMPACT PLUS, released in December 2017, as an online network of tools, including a customized corrosion management process classification frame- work, corrosion management maturity model, and an extensive reference library. The cost of corrosion is usually expressed in terms of 'direct' costs, but the actual number can be much higher when indirect costs are added, such as labor attributed to corrosion management activities; equipment required because of corrosion-related activities; loss of revenue due to disruptions in production; and loss of reliability. (Photo: Chemco)

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