In a 2002 study by NACE International, corrosion is estimated to cost $276B annually in the US (1). This includes all sectors including transportation, automotive, oil and gas processing and distribution, drinking water and sewer systems, hazardous materials storage, and various sectors of manufacturing. Equipment and structures that are exposed to the elements, or that comes into contact with corrosive substances are all susceptible to damage and eventual failure.
Not only is there cost associated with the purchase of new equipment and materials, but there are other considerations such as down time from equipment and structures not being in service, labor for repair and replacement, and cost possible cost for liability and clean-up. Bridges are an example of this in the transportation sector. Some of the key considerations for corrosion control are as follows;
* structural integrity
* structural failure
* road closures
* falling objects (i.e. bolts and brackets)
Unprotected metal components accelerate the wear of the structural components decreasing the longevity, but often overlooked are brackets, bolts, rivets, brackets, and other components used to adjoin these structural components.
Another example is in the oil and gas sector. Tank batteries and pipelines are constantly exposed to corrosive fluids and gasses. This accelerates the wear on production equipment leading to downtime, and can also lead to expensive clean-up and negative environmental impact. The key considerations here are as follows;
* downtime of production or transportation
* leaks and premature equipment failure
* fines from EPA and Corporation Commission
* cost for environmental remediation
Only $1.1B is spent annually on anti-corrosion coatings making up less than 0.4% of the total annual losses associated with corrosion damage. Unlike repair or replacement of equipment and structures, anti-corrosion coatings are a cost effective method of protection. The key benefits to using these coatings are;
* easy to apply
* easy and fast to repair
* low cost compared to replacement of components, equipment and structures
* longer life than traditional paints
* resistant to a wide variety of chemicals
* do not adsorb water
* can be applied to new and existing equipment and structures
Anti-corrosion coatings are a very good way to protect exposed metals from corrosion and damage, and are more cost effective than many other methods. Given that they are easy to apply and provide long lasting protection, they are one of the most cost effective ways to protect, keeping equipment and structures operational and reducing liability cost and fines due to failing components.
1.) https://www.nace.org/resources/general-resources/cost-of-corrosion-study, accessed April 13, 2019