Corrosion is the mortal enemy of engineers and plant managers. It is one of the most frequent causes of equipment failure in a wide variety of plants, from power plants to steel mills, paper mills, and cement & lime plants. Corrosion, if left unchecked, can cause equipment to break and result in steep bills for repair and replacement – plus all the unplanned downtime that can occur.
Industrial corrosion can be mitigated through careful prevention and ongoing maintenance. Here, we’ll discuss some of the strategies put into place by engineers today that can mitigate damaging corrosion moving forward.
Corrosion isn’t as glaringly obvious as some would hope. Sometimes, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to spot if you’re not specifically looking for it.
There are many different factors that lead to corrosion, from heat to excess humidity to chemicals, salinity, and more. And certain types of equipment are more susceptible to corrosion than others. But any piece of equipment is vulnerable if the environment isn’t protected, which is why corrosion can be such a problem to lock down.
We often don’t know a piece of equipment is corroded until it fails. To avoid this situation, ongoing maintenance of your plant’s equipment is a must. It’s not enough to do an annual inspection, since corrosion can set in and do damage in far less time than a year. Having technicians systematically go through your infrastructure on a regular basis can help identify and guard against corrosion.
Proactivity is far better than reactivity when it comes to mitigating industrial corrosion. Instead of waiting for something to happen, you should try to identify signs of impending corrosion and take action before something occurs.
This means knowing the corrosion rates of your equipment, identifying potential sources of corrosion, knowing which pieces of your plant’s infrastructure are the most vulnerable, inspecting your environment regularly to make sure moisture isn’t infiltrating the plant, and being proactive with repairs, upgrades, and retrofits.
This is very difficult to do unless you have an ongoing maintenance plan in place. You need a team that is focused on regularly maintaining your facilities and has experience combating corrosion and other things that can arise to disrupt your operations.
Corrosion is a tough enemy to defeat, but with proactive maintenance, it can be done.
Southern Field provides plant maintenance for a variety of industries. Contact the team to learn more about how they ensure maximum operability with minimal cost.