Infrastructure corrosion in New Zealand may be an inevitable occurrence, but the annual cost of damages, particularly from corrosion under insulation (CUI) is a cause for concern.
The industry has used metal surface finishing and abrasive blasting as some of the ways to rectify these damages, which can amount to around $9 billion every year. Now, the industry has tapped into new technology to detect corrosion more efficiently and ahead of time.
CUI predominantly affects steel elements, and it can be tedious and expensive to remove insulation to inspect pipelines. Fortunately, modern imaging solutions take out this need. The use of advanced technology such as this provides maintenance specialists with a more in-depth look from the inside.
Companies with offshore facilities will be among those who can benefit the most from using advanced imaging technology, including digital radiography and pulsed eddy current (PEC) technology.
One way to save on expenses involves training on-site personnel to be familiar with corrosion inspection, instead of deploying specialists to the facility that only adds up to the cost of resolving corroded assets.
Aside from steel, corrosion also affects concrete, especially when steel is used to reinforce it. Some of the most popular ways to treat corroded concrete include patch repairs.
The process is a low-cost option, but it only removes the damaged part of concrete instead of eliminating the source. Hence, this is a good alternative for small affected areas.
Patches only have up to ten years of service life. It requires extensive labour, so depending on it as the main solution will definitely be unsustainable, according to some experts.
A combination of new technology, metal surface finishing, and patch repairs would be the best solution to prevent damages from corrosion. This would require you to shell out money, but it would still be less expensive than attempting to replace a structure or product due to rusted and corroded elements.