The Benefits of Anti-Corrosion Coatings
Anti-corrosion coatings are nothing more than protective finishes which ensure that they are protected against corrosion from the caustic or otherwise corrosive materials which pass through them. As simple in design as they are, though, they can be in many cases a pillar of a piece of rotating equipment’s integrity and durability over time. Anti-corrosion coatings are typically of a polymer construction, known sometimes as an epoxy. An epoxy is “a polymeric material used in adhesives and pipeline coatings for corrosion protection. …”1 Without anti-corrosion coatings, be it of polymer or a reliable metal such as aluminum, an item of rotating equipment can certainly still function, however it will not be quite as efficient in the long-term as it could be if it had anti-corrosion coatings. Here are some major benefits of anti-corrosion coatings which should be taken into serious consideration before installing new rotating equipment.
Though sometimes expensive, anti-corrosion coatings can be well-worth their price if only for increasing an item of equipment’s reliability. Furthermore, another great means of corrosion protection can be spraying metallic layers on an item of rotating equipment, which can provide a host of benefits in a short amount of time to protect the equipment for many years to come. Among these benefits, ““There is almost no limitation on the size of component or structure which can be treated…Properly applied sprayed metal coatings are more robust than paint systems and are consequently able to withstand rougher usage…The sprayed metal surface maintains the efficiency of friction grip areas and ensures their effectiveness throughout the life of the structure.”2 These coatings, besides being at times rather expensive, can also at times be a bit hazardous in what chemicals they primarily deal with.
As for which anti-corrosion coating is most efficient, it depends mostly on budget and on the materials which will be coming into contact with the rotating equipment. Aluminum and other metals can be excellent anti-corrosion coatings: “Aluminum is also used to provide cathodic protection of steel surfaces. Lead and chromium are extremely effective as corrosion inhibitors but health and safety concerns severely limit or eliminate their use.”3 Besides their price and potential safety hazards, these coatings can effectively protect against other physically abrasive particles, such as salt and other similar small particles, as well as rust and other long-term damaging effects, both physically hazardous and caustic.
One major long-term benefit of anti-corrosion coatings is the ability to prevent unnecessary downtimes almost totally. “Corrosion of steel alone is a multi-trillion-dollar problem globally. Economic losses are not the only consequences of corrosion; structural failure of buildings and bridges can be fatal.”4 Simultaneously, therefore, repair costs are brought down drastically as less repairs are necessary, as well as less serious issues with the actual rotating equipment’s construction occur due to almost entirely (if not entirely) reducing corrosion within the system.
Preventing corrosion within rotating equipment systems is in itself can be a very difficult task. And while at times expensive, it can be quite beneficial for a system if an anti-corrosion coating is applied to the inside of rotating equipment. It is not advised or discouraged for anti-corrosion coatings to be applied within a system, mostly due to the cost but also when considering the rest of the system: if, for example, the pipes within the system are designed to only last around 30 years and the rotating equipment can last around the same amount of time, it will be of no real, long-term benefit if anti-corrosion coatings are applied and perhaps double the lifespan of the rotating equipment while leaving the pipes within the system unaffected. Therefore, it is best to contact an engineer with expertise in said area of considered application for anti-corrosion coatings before making a decision on applying anti-corrosion coatings for rotating equipment.
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