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How Does Corrosion Affect Your Pipeline?

Posted by Shawcor North American Land NDT on May 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM

How Does Corrosion Affect Your Pipeline?
How Does Corrosion Affect Your Pipeline?

Corrosion is one of nature's many destructive forces, weakening metals of all types in little time at all. When performing condition monitoring for a pipeline, corrosion is often the number one issue that you need be on the lookout for.

In this article, we'll take a look at the details of pipeline corrosion integrity management, including the cause of corrosion, the effects of corrosion, and how you can use effective corrosion inspection procedures to prevent corrosion from damaging your pipelines.

What Causes Corrosion?

Corrosion is the effect of natural chemical processes that take place on the surface of metals which can be sped up depending on the chemicals that the metal is in contact with. Some metals such as iron corrode very quickly, while others such as stainless steel corrode much more slowly. Given enough time, though, most all metals will eventually corrode.

There are several different types of corrosion, and each one must be handled differently. General attack corrosion affects the entire surface of a metal, however, it is normally fairly easy to control. Localized corrosion only occurs in one spot, however, it is more difficult to predict and may go deeper into the metal than just the surface. Galvanic corrosion is a type of corrosion that occurs when two different metals are in contact with one another, and environmental cracking is a form of corrosion that occurs under extreme environmental conditions that may cause the metal to become brittle and crack or fatigue.

How Corrosion Damages a Pipeline

All forms of corrosion that occur on a pipeline need to be dealt with as soon as possible, as left untreated this corrosion may cause your pipeline to weaken and potentially fail. It's also much easier to treat corrosion as it appears and work to prevent it than to try and repair a pipeline that has already been damaged by serious corrosion.

How to Treat and Prevent Pipeline Corrosion

Corrosion may be incredibly damaging to a pipeline, but, thankfully, there are ways to treat and prevent it. Depending on the type of corrosion that you are dealing with as well as the material and structure of your pipeline, you may be able to prevent corrosion using solutions such as corrosion inhibitors, coating your pipeline with corrosion-resistant paints, plating your pipeline with metallic platings, and modifying the environmental conditions that your pipeline is exposed to.

In addition to taking measures to prevent corrosion, you will also want to rely on frequent condition monitoring and corrosion inspection to spot corrosion as it appears and treat it as soon as possible.

If you would like to start treating and preventing corrosion on your pipeline in order to avoid costly damages, we invite you to learn more about the pipeline corrosion integrity management services we offer at Shawcor.

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