There are so many reasons why pipeline corrosion is a problem. On a practical level, pipeline corrosion can cause pipes to break or leak, potentially causing massive environmental damage over time. But on a financial level, the damage is severe as well. In fact, pipeline corrosion alone costs the American economy over $9 billion every year. But despite the fact that pipeline corrosion may seem to be inevitable to some, it can in fact be prevented through careful strategies and applications.
Perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when exploring pipeline corrosion prevention tips is understanding why pipelines corrode in the first place. There are actually different types of pipeline corrosion, and they can be dependent on what the pipes in question are made of, where they are located, and the materials the pipes are transporting.
What Types of Materials Are Used for Pipes?
As previously mentioned, the type of materials used to construct a pipeline can determine why the pipeline is corroding in the first place. Some of the most popular types of materials used include galvanized steel, copper, PVC, polybutene, CPVC, and polyethylene. Usually, the type of material chosen is selected based on the type of material being transported. Galvanized steel, for example, is usually selected to transport oil, petrol, and gas.
This should be considered heavily when preventing moisture penetration, for example. There must be a balance between ensuring that liquids are being transported efficiently and preventing corrosion.
What Are the Different Types of Pipeline Corrosion?
Different types of corrosion can occur depending on the conditions the pipeline is subjected to. One common type of corrosion is pitting corrosion, which occurs when a small hole or pit forms in a part of the pipe, slowly deepening over time. Microbiologically influenced corrosion can also occur, which is often dependent on the types of microorganisms the pipeline is exposed to. Though these organisms, which include fungi and algae, do not cause corrosion, they can speed up the corrosion process. Galvanic corrosion, in comparison, occurs when metal interacts through electrical contact with another type of metal.
The wide variety of different types of corrosion that can occur is why different types of pipeline corrosion protection strategies need to be considered. Preventing moisture penetration, however, should always be a priority for those responsible for pipelines. As moisture affects the pipelines themselves, it can cause oxidization and therefore rusting, which will gradually break down the pipes over time. It’s incredibly important that this type of corrosion, in particular, is prevented.
How Can Pipeline Corrosion Be Prevented?
There are several different strategies that can be taken to prevent pipeline corrosion. Perhaps one of the most common methods of preventing moisture penetration is the application of pipe wear pads. Pipe wear pads actually serve multiple purposes and are perhaps some of the best means through which contractors can protect pipelines.
One of the reasons why pipelines become corroded is that they vibrate and often rub against each other. This wears down protective coatings on the metal and eventually thins out the metal itself. Additionally, the metal is more susceptible to the effects of moisture when it is thinner, further emphasizing the need for pipe wear pads. Essentially, pipe wear pads are liners that are filament-wound and fiber-reinforced. They are fitted onto pipes themselves and act as cushions that isolate the pipes and keep them from rubbing against each other.
There are different types of pipe wear pads available. Some require epoxy in order for them to be attached to the pipes, while others are naturally easier to mold onto the pipes through stick and peel methods. Pipe wear pads should be resistant to condensation, chemicals and acids, and ultraviolet light.
Due to the fact that they can both safeguard the pipes against the effects of vibration and aid in preventing moisture penetration, pipe wear pads are among the best methods for preventing corrosion in general. They are cost-effective, fairly simple to apply, and generally long-lasting and effective. It’s crucial that pipelines are outfitted with this type of material in order to avoid the long term effects of corrosion.