Welcome to the mid-August 2020 Corrosionpedia news roundup. Corrosionpedia releases a fresh news roundup every other week to provide a summary of the most important headlines in the world of corrosion prevention, monitoring and materials science. In this edition, we examine an airworthiness directive issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration towards certain models of Boeing jets due to coronavirus-related corrosion risks. Other highlights in this edition include back-to-back water main breaks, more news on the NACE and SSPC merger, and a chemical leak in France that caused beaches to be evacuated.

Planes Put into Storage during COVID-19 Pandemic Found to Have Corrosion

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced an airworthiness directive for over 2,000 Boeing 737 model jets that had been put into storage because of corrosion-related issues. The FAA's concern is related to engine air check valves and the corrosion that has formed on them during their time in storage while out of service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although no failures have occurred, the FAA directive states that corrosion could cause the engines to fail without the ability to restart. The airworthiness directive mandates inspection of all jets of a specific model type and model year that have been stored for over a week without flight. The directive does not apply to any of the Boeing 737 MAX models that were in the news in 2019 for various unrelated reasons.

Corrosion Causes Back-to-Back Water Main Failures

In late July, the city of Kalamazoo, MI experienced a large water main failure that caused a substantial water leak. As a result, a major roadway was severely damaged and forced to close in the area of the break. Upon investigation, it was found that excessive corrosion was the cause, with cracks that formed across several areas of localized corrosion that ultimately caused the rupture. This is not the first time the city has experienced a water main failure like this. In 2019, a different water main in the city also failed. Both mains were put into service in the early 20th century. Because the possibility of further ruptures are very real, plans are being made to build new water mains to replace the existing ones rather than relying solely on repair procedures.

New Industry Partnership Formed to Fight Corrosion

A new company, known as Corrosion Innovations, has been formed by a partnership of several entities involved in corrosion management. At the moment the company offers one product line, Corr-Ze™, which can be applied to metal substrates simultaneously with certain abrasive blasting or cleaning processes. It can also be applied post-blasting and post-cleaning prior to coating. The product is intended to be applied to metallic substrates to remove certain contaminants, such as microscopic ones, that might be missed by other cleaning methods like blasting. It can reduce the risk of rust-back (rerusting), improve subsequent coating adhesion, and is a water-based, eco-friendly corrosion prevention product.

New Methods of Corrosion Inspection Developed for Concrete Structures

Researchers at the Graz University of Technology in Austria and the Austrian Society for Construction Technology have developed a new method for determining the status of corrosion on concrete structures. The inspection method is called "LumAConM", which stands for luminescent analysis of construction materials. The method for performing the test involves the use of optical-chemical sensors. Using the LumAConM process and optical-chemical sensor technology has the potential to unlock lower-cost concrete structure inspections as it relates to corrosion. It also has the ability to achieve faster inspection times and higher inspection accuracy than traditional concrete corrosion inspection processes.

NACE, SSPC Integration Continues

The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) and the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) announced earlier this year that they will be merging together, and now special teams have been formed as the organizations combine to ensure that the transition goes smoothly. There are thirteen teams, each with its own unique focus area. Each team will be responsible for various aspects of the merger, such as branding, staff engagement, education, governance, and certifications, to name just a few. The teams are composed of both NACE and SSPC member leaders. If necessary, more teams may be added by the merger steering committee to ensure that the process of combining the two entities goes as seamlessly as possible.

Chemical Leak, Potentially Caused by Corrosion, Clears Beaches in France

Beaches in the southern part of France were temporarily evacuated in July because of a chemical leak into the water. The chemical that leaked, iron chloride, is highly corrosive and harmful to metallic objects as well as humans. A polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturer is the owner of a plant where the leak originated. The leak has since stopped, and an investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the corrosive chemical leak and who might be responsible for it.