Putting a Stop to Pipe Corrosion With CIPP Lining

Protecting the pipe surface with a liner or coating can be an effective countermeasure for corrosion

Putting a Stop to Pipe Corrosion With CIPP Lining

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What causes corrosion in pipes? How can we stop corrosion? These are serious questions that, if left unanswered, can have costly consequences.

Next to fire, pipeline corrosion represents one of the most serious threats and potential monetary losses to any private, commercial or industrial property. Even with countermeasures in place, the estimated cost for replacing corroded pipe systems last year was more than $1.1 trillion, according to a study by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. Pipe system failures due to corrosion can sometimes be found in the most unlikely of places — fire suppression systems now fail within two to three years of installation, and even cooling systems fail within five to 10 years.

To make matters worse, corrosion in pipelines continues to be unrecognized, unaddressed, or even ignored until high-corrosion plumbing emergencies occur.

The Cause of Corrosion

There are a number of variables to consider when looking at why many pipe systems corrode. Often, the first sign of a corrosion problem is a plumbing failure — water damage from a pinhole leak or loss of water pressure due to tuberculation restricting the diameter of the pipe. Here are three common reasons why many pipelines corrode:

Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion
MIC is one of the most severe cases of corrosion that pipeline systems face today. Metals, nutrients, water, and oxygen (all of which are commonly found inside any pipe) are the main ingredients for this naturally occurring chemical process that eats away at the metal in the pipe. The existence of MIC usually is a serious sign that can ruin the integrity of a pipe system if left untreated. MIC has been found to destroy copper, brass and stainless steel pipes.

Interior Pipe Deposits
Commonly referred to as tuberculation, internal rust deposits are the proverbial deathtrap for most pipe systems. Once corrosive conditions become extremely high, these deposits become even more prevalent. Horizontal lines or low-flow pipe systems are likely to be affected by this type of corrosion failure, however it can affect vertical pipe systems as well. The amount of rust deposits will restrict the diameter of the pipe, which will increase the chances of backups occurring.

Weather Damage
If a piping system is exposed to weather such as rain, snow, or even an HVAC overspray, corrosion can occur. However, with regular maintenance, corrosion can easily be prevented. Since these types of piping systems are exposed, monitoring is easier because corrosion is more apparent than it is for pipes that are in the ground or inside buildings.

Stopping Corrosion

According to the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, more than $121 billion is spent annually in the U.S. on corrosion control chemicals, coatings and other protective systems. Since the process of corrosion begins due to the electrochemical reaction of a surface with corrosive elements, an effective solution is to isolate the internal surface of the pipe with a protective barrier or coating. While there are many variables to consider, CIPP lining is an effective way to stop corrosion from taking place inside a nonpressurized pipe system. In cases where corrosion has already begun inside a pipeline, cleaning measures occur before the protective epoxy resin is installed.

Epoxy barrier coatings are also a viable solution to solve pipe failures due to corrosion in pressurized pipe systems. The installation process and the epoxy barrier coating are specifically designed for pressurized pipe systems such as HVAC systems, fire suppression systems and potable waterlines.

With critical failures, restoration costs, property losses, and downtime losses, the cost of ignoring corrosion in pipe systems is high. But with the proper prevention planning and technologies in place, solving current corrosion and preventing future corrosion can be a fight that private, commercial and industrial properties win.

About the Author

Holly Neuhaus is a marketing coordinator for Nu Flow Technologies.


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