Conquering Corrosion with Composites

The World Corrosion Organization estimates global annual corrosion damage at $2.2-trillion USD, more than three percent of global GDP. Corrosion is a silent but very real enemy that eats away at productivity and profitability. Fortunately, there is a material available that offers real and measurable corrosion resistance: fiberglass-reinforced composites. The corrosion resistance of FRP is a solution with proven data behind it.

As an example, mining and related industries contend with elements that make for highly corrosive environments. The wide use of grinding materials, the presence of oxygen and water, large pH ranges, and microorganisms all add to the challenge of corrosion and its financial impact.

A study regarding the overall impact of corrosion by NACE and CC Technologies pegged the annual cost in the United States alone at $276 billion. This figure was equivalent to 3.2 percent of GDP. The financial impact of corrosion in the production and manufacturing sector alone was estimated to be $17.6 billion annually. This sector includes industries like petroleum refining, mining, gasoline products, pulp and paper, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture.

In the mining environment, FRP composites offer a service life of 35+ years in many applications. These composite materials also provide similar benefits to numerous other industries, including:

    • Pulp and paper
    • Oil and gas
    • Chemical processing
    • Power generation
    • Desalination
    • Wastewater

Corrosion can take on many forms. In mining, abrasion is a common cause of corrosion. With milling processes requiring pipe and pumping systems that are especially vulnerable to abrasion-induced corrosion, FRP brings a solution to particulate abrasion and/or erosion. Traditional pump systems and piping that use metal often suffer from abrasive particulates wearing down the protective film on the metal surfaces. Once this film is compromised, reactive metal alloys can quickly break down and corrode. Custom FRP productsand nonmetallic solutions can be specially formulated to address uniquely demanding environments.

Wire rope, roof bolts, pump and piping systems, electronics, and acidic drainage systems are all inhospitable environments for metals that can corrode. Traditionally, various solutions have been employed, including the use of corrosion inhibitors, protective coatings, and electrochemical cathodic protection. However, these are relatively short-term fixes compared to the decades-long protection that FRP offers.

FRP also contributes a host of other advantages, including a high strength-to-weight ratio, superior durability and dimensional stability. FRP can be used in new designs, material upgrades, and customized components.

For more information about how FRP can address your industry-specific challenges and enhance your profitability, please contact a representative.

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