Corrosion—An Ugly Problem With A Beautifully Simple Solution
Corrosion isn’t pretty, and, for fabricated products, it’s expensive and dangerous—fortunately, protective coatings offer a simple solution to all these problems. Researchers in publications including the Pipeline and Gas Journal have reported that coatings provide resistance that can increase the lifetime of substrates up to a hundredfold. This translates into years of maintenance-free use (and lower operations costs).
While some manufacturers believe that corrosion resistance need only be incorporated in fabrication and design, research has proven otherwise. Integrating preventive features in product design is certainly not a bad idea, but unexpected (and unavoidable) changes in a structure’s operational environment often lead to unforeseen corrosion damage despite these innovations. Costs aside, the combination of mechanical and environmentally assisted material damage and corrosion can spur unexpected failures and subsequent dangers via reduced load-carrying capacity.
Corrosion is undoubtedly bad news for your bottom line. But it’s even worse news for larger-scale economies at the national and international levels. A U.S. government report in 2002 revealed that the nation’s annual cost of corrosion damage to structural components was greater than the cost of all types of natural disasters combined. In 2010, an extensive white paper published by Owens Corning Corp. estimated worldwide direct cost of corrosion at over $1.8 trillion (that’s 3 to 4 percent of the GDP of all industrialized nations).
The natural forces that cause corrosion aren’t going anywhere, which makes the corrosion problem seem daunting in the context of a world rapidly moving toward total mechanization. However, for the utilities industry, the solution is as simple as “putting a coat on it.” The one caveat is that not all coatings are created equal and none are universally appropriate for all applications. For example, to optimize protection, anodeless service risers and residential meter set assemblies may require different coatings at various points. The above-ground nipple portion of a riser needs the shielding provided by products like Lyall’s LYCOPro® Finish, aflame-applied aluminum with a brushed urethane overcoat, whereas the best choice for a residential meter set is Lyall’s Dual Coat Polyester Over Zinc application. Both coatings offer superior corrosion resistance and are able to withstand the most abrasive and corrosive environments, such as coastal areas where salt spray and fog are common. Lyall’s various coating options have one common advantage: They are superior to field-applied coatings both aesthetically and in their corrosion resistance.
At Lyall, we like to keep looking forward, watching and adapting to a constantly changing environment (technologically, economically, and ecologically) to develop new processes and products. To learn more about our coating options, visit our Product Group page.