The Top Five Things You Can Do to Prevent Corrosion in Your Pipes

methods to prevent corrosionCorroded pipelines present a lurking problem to human health and the environment. Waste and chemicals exposed to our local wildlife and living spaces is a serious fall-out. Pipeline explosions and massive chemical/oil spills have also become problematic.

The Massachusetts gas line explosion is yet another example of corrosion protection policies gone wrong. The Gulf oil spill continues to threaten the environment and wildlife.

Introducing methods to prevent corrosion is an ethical and moral practice. This proactive, preventative maintenance will save lives. Read on and learn five ways to prevent pipe corrosion from becoming a traumatic event.

Methods to Prevent Corrosion: 5 Things for a Corrosion Protection Policy

What we understand about corrosion today would have changed our intentions decades ago. Miles and miles of outdated pipelines are under our feet. It’s our duty to stop exacerbating the issues by practicing pipeline corrosion protection.

Causation of pipeline corrosion includes:

  • Oxidation and metal loss
  • Breakdown from chemical interactions
  • Pitting, crevice, and filiform by friction

What can one do after processing and confirming corrosion rate?

1. Cleaning

“Pigging” is the common term for clearing pipelines, with two main methods:

  • Mechanical
  • Chemical

Mechanical pigging forces a “pig” through the line, clearing dirt and debris. The mechanical cleaning is effective but faults during major blockage. The “pig” becomes stuck when mechanically cleaning.

Chemical cleaning introduces a base cleaner in tandem to the mechanical pigging. This breaks down materials before the pig, creating a clean finish with few jams. Acids are common when pigging, too, dissolving biomass stuck in the pipes.

The chemical concentrates are liquid or gel. Disposal is done off-site and usually incorporated into the maintenance costs. The routine maintenance prevents corrosion before it begins, removing elements causing the breakdown.

2. Clearing

Pipelines are at nature’s will, battling invasive roots, tree hazards, and ground swells. Human error causes corrosion and failure, too. Error by way of digging and groundwater overuse causing sinkholes and foundation shifts.

Preventative maintenance includes clearing areas surrounding pipes. This may include placing barriers preventing intrusive nature. Or, updating records alerting others of their location to prevent human error occurrences.

3. Coating

Corrosion coatings exist in many forms:

  • Liquid epoxy and urethane
  • Sacrificial anodes in proximity
  • Cathodic protective layers

These corrosion inhibitors apply to the pipe’s inside. Pigging remains an essential process with these items as debris settlement is commonplace.

4. Blasting

Sandblasting strips hardened materials of its rust and corrosion. This process involves detaching the pipeline section and hand-blasting the section. Or, using a specialized blasting machine handling large sections.

5. Materials

Updating pipelines give an opportunity to use less-corrosive materials like:

  • Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Superalloys

Retrofitting with these materials can prolong the pipeline’s lifespan by decades if maintained.

What We Do Today Will Save Our Future

The environment is on a grim path if we do not act today. Industries must come together, proactively maintaining their equipment to and learning new methods to prevent corrosion and other detrimental issues. People, too, must do their part by embracing green living and conscious commerce.

Want to do more for yourself and the environment? Check our home and garden category for tons of great ideas!

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