SOURCE: Industry Visions

Industry Visions

March 14, 2011 06:00 ET

Industrial Corrosion on Pipes and Vessels a "Concealed Catastrophe" Quotes Noted Corrosion Scientist, WVSN Reports

DETROIT, MI--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) -  Corrosion combined with an aging infrastructure of many heavy industrial processing plants can present a possible unseen economic and environmental catastrophe. The problem is corrosion under insulation, better known as CUI, Industry Visions' WVSN reports.

CUI exists under insulation jacketing and is impossible to detect because it cannot be seen. Often it is discovered after a leak in a pipe or vessel occurs, signaling the failure of the plant's infrastructure, and in some extreme cases an environmental emergency can result if liquids escape into the environment.

In a recent interview with WVSN Reports, internationally noted scientist and corrosion engineer Dr. Hira Ahluwalia discussed the ramifications of poor insulation choices for industrial processes and the far reaching consequences for plant owners. "Corrosion under insulation is a problem that's extremely costly to plant operators. Furthermore, a study by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers on the cost of corrosion to our gross domestic production suggested it costs $450 billion in damages each year, approximately 3.1% of our gross domestic production."

"Corrosion is inevitable," continued Dr. Ahluwalia. "Carbon steel corrodes as a natural declivity to its lowest energy state, but a perfect storm for corrosion on hyper speed is CUI. The perfect recipe for the advent of CUI is covering a pipe with insulation that allows in the ingress of moisture, then add variations of temperature with exposure to oxygen and corrosion accelerates tremendously. The effect -- thinning walls of pipes and vessels and a catastrophe poised to happen. Out of sight out of mind can mean out of business."

Insulation is an important part of process control and the right choice needs to be made in order to prevent CUI. "Like death and taxes there's no escape from corrosion," said Dr. Ahluwalia.

When asked about the best known solutions for CUI Dr. Ahluwalia discussed his recommendations. "My opinion is cellular glass insulation that's manufactured by Pittsburgh Corning offers premium quality protection that will not allow ingress of moisture, and the same thermal expansion properties that stabilize the process no matter what the variation of temperature, from cryogenic cold to steaming hot. Studies have shown FOAMGLAS® insulation can last from 30 to 50 years." 

"The new industrial plant construction philosophy is building plants maintenance free, inspection free, and process control reliant with corrosion a culprit kept at a minimum for the life of the structure. That's why I specify FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation on projects on which I am consulted. My studies and experiences have shown FOAMGLAS® is the reliability brand in this field."

WVSN Reports is an industrial news show highlighting the endeavors of American Industry.

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