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Corrosion Management Control

The most common signs of corrosion are pitting and crevice corrosion.

The most common signs of corrosion are pitting and crevice corrosion.

Stainless steel is an ideal material for many uses, including structures, industrial equipment and commercial plants. Steel is a common choice due to its strength, and stainless steel’s excellent corrosion and staining resistance is ideal for these applications all over the world.

However, stainless steel can be susceptible to localised corrosion, or uniform corrosion if exposed to basic or acidic solutions. Some corrosion can be difficult to predict and protecting stainless steel with the proper maintenance is critical to keep the integrity of your structures or equipment.

Depending on the environment in which stainless steel is used, surface deposits can cause staining and discolouring. The correct grade, finish, maintenance and cleaning schedules are required to maintain stainless steel’s best performance.

Pitting Corrosion

Pitting is a form of corrosion which is often readily visible to the naked eye and is a symptom of the chromium-rich passive oxide film on tubing breaking down due to exposure in a chloride-rich environment. A higher chloride concentration or increased temperature likely to result in the passive film breaking down. Pitting is not only unsightly, it can eventually cause a situation where tubing could fail. Without the passive film intact to protect the steel, pitting and perforation can occur.While pitting will initially form in the shape of shallow pits, continued lack of proper maintenance will see the corrosion develop to deep and even connected pits.

Crevice Corrosion

Crevice corrosion can be extremely difficult to avoid in tubing. Tight crevices are the biggest risk to steel, with corrosion causing the oxygen concentration in the fluid within to drop.

This lower oxygen concentration increases the likelihood of the passive surface oxide film breaking down, resulting in a shallow pit.

Ongoing Maintenance

Surface deposits, contamination and corrosion must be prevented to prolong the life and integrity of stainless steel. The environments and conditions stainless steel is subjected to can have a major impact on its longevity and the frequency in which maintenance works should be carried out. Typically, more aggressive environments (such as marine equipment) prove more difficult for stainless steel to resist without the correct cleaning and maintenance. Choosing the correct maintenance schedule for stainless steel, and a prompt response to any stains or discolouration can aid in the prevention of serious problems with stainless steel. It is important to note that simply wiping with a damp cloth will smear corrosive deposits without removing them, therefore it is important to use the correct chemicals and techniques.Depending on the grade, environment and surrounding material contamination ICS may recommend scheduled cleaning frequencies from either three, six or twelve months or only as required.

International Corrosion Services

Has onsite expertise to:

• Identify the type of treatment required and develop a scope of works.
• Develop site-specific treatment operating procedures in compliance with the standards.
• Developing and implementing health and safety procedures (risk assessments included)
• Implement ongoing corrosion maintenance programs to maintain the integrity of stainless steel structures
• Bunding and waste capture process for collection and offsite disposal.
• Quality control of treatment (which can incorporate the use of the Forroxyl test as a means of ensuring the stainless steel is free from iron contamination)

Onsite Services

International Corrosion Services offers a convenient service of bringing the stainless steel cleaning and pickle and passivation process directly to our customers.  By visiting our customers directly, we’re able to large immobile stainless steel pieces or inbuilt plant and equipment that cannot be moved at all.

Commonly, International Corrosion Services mobilises onsite for either full pickle and passivation of the stainless steel, cleaning of the stainless steel or both treatment types.

Onsite pickle and passivation can be an isolated process of  treatment of the weld seams only, or coverage of the entire stainless surfaces inside and out with the use of containment barriers to allow spray application of the pickling and passivation chemicals.  Entire coverage of the surface ensures the treatment is fully compliant to the pickle and passivation standards.

Cleaning of early stages of stainless corrosion is also vital to improve the corrosion resistance performance and prolong the life of the asset.  Early stages of what is commonly termed “Tea Staining” is very unsightly but more importantly is possibly the early signs of the more serious issue of “pitting”. 

It is crucial that the stainless steel is kept clean so that it can perform at its optimum corrosion resistance. International Corrosion Services has the onsite expertise to:

Offshore Expertise

ICS are no strangers to treating stainless steel offshore facilities. Stainless steel is a common element of oil and gas platforms and other offshore facilities. While stainless steel is used several ways for offshore facilities – including hydraulic lines and over a wide range of temperatures – improper maintenance can lead to corrosion, compromising its structural integrity. Our team attended the subsea stainless steel Motion Record unit assemblies for a Floating Storage & Production Offtake (FPSO), based offshore Angola. The treatment carried out used pickling paste, cleaner and passivator as well as mechanical abrasion to remove corrosion on the subsea canisters. The work was carried out as per standard ASTM A967.

Pickling Stainless Steel

Passivation Of Stainless Steel

Electropolishing

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