Infrastructure assets in marine waters under attack!
You probably will not see this headline from your local news provider; nonetheless, there is a relentless assault underway. The battle is against an old foe, whose strategy is to use stealth and patience to win its objectives. Who is this culprit? Corrosion. Marine sub-structures are subject to degradation on two main fronts: mechanical (vessel impacts, wear, etc) and corrosion. Corrosion degradation of assets located in and near salt water is often more extensive but gets less attention because corrosion damage is gradual and possibly undetected.
The worldwide cost of corrosion on marine infrastructure is enormous. The landmark 2001 study, sponsored by the US FWHA, estimated the annual cost of corrosion on waterways and ports in the US alone to be $0.3 billion. Securing funds for the protection and repair of those assets is becoming more difficult with tightening budgets and increasing demands in other areas. Therefore, it is more crucial for structure owners to spend their maintenance funds wisely. This article will focus on the primary cause of attack: chloride induced corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete and steel pilings, and it will discuss remediation strategies.
Know your enemy
The first step is to understand the enemy…
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