Welcome to the mid-August Corrosionpedia News Roundup! For this issue, we take a look at a serious finding involving corrosion and airplane landing gear components. Other news captured in the aerospace industry includes the development of a new material science simulation for jet engine parts. We also take a look at a tragic pipeline explosion in rural Kentucky, and a successful preventative inspection story in Ohio. We hope you enjoy this edition of the Corrosionpedia News Roundup.

Corrosion Suspected in Kentucky Pipeline Explosion

A pipeline in rural Kentucky exploded earlier this month. The explosion, which left one person dead and five people injured in the area surrounding Danville, Kentucky, propelled pieces of pipeline into the nearby area causing property damage as well. The fires roared for some time before firefighters could extinguish the blaze. The cause of the explosion is still currently unknown, but corrosion is a prime suspect. Over the coming weeks, investigations will be carried out to determine if corrosion was the cause, and if so what was being done to monitor or prevent it.

Corrosion on Airbus Planes Requires Replacement Parts

Two models of Airbus planes, the A340-500 and A340-600, have had corrosion discovered on a component that is part of their landing gear. A corroded axle was discovered on the central landing gear assembly during a routine overhaul appointment. Once the corrosion was detected and reported, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency mandated that replacement parts be ordered and installed. No failures have occurred as a result of the corrosion yet, and the replacement parts should prevent failures from ever happening.

New Inspection Method Improves Corrosion Detection in Alaska

Teams at the Port of Alaska in Anchorage have implemented a new method using sonar technology to detect corrosion on the docks in the port. Previously, corrosion had been monitored through other methods above water during low tide conditions. This was effective for certain parts of the dock, but the corrosion status of the portions that were still inaccessible during low tide was left unknown. Now, using sonar technology, employees at the port have been able to determine the extent of corrosion in those inaccessible areas. Fortunately, the Port of Alaska has confirmed that the corrosion in the newly monitored areas is not noticeably worse than in the areas that have been monitored during low tide.

Important Discovery Changes Scientific Understanding of Nickel Corrosion

Researchers at Texas A&M’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering recently made an important discovery that is in direct contradiction with previous scientific understandings of nickel corrosion.

When corrosion attacks nickel, it tends to do so at its grain boundaries, a condition known as intergranular corrosion. One type of grain boundary, known as a coherent twin boundary, occurs when the grains on each side of the boundary are mirror images of each other. It was thought that these coherent twin boundaries resist corrosion; however, the researchers proved that corrosion does occur along these boundaries. In fact, most of the intergranular corrosion that occurred during the experiment happened at the coherent twin boundaries. This finding could cause the scientific community to reconsider how it goes about making corrosion resistant nickel alloys.

Corrosion Shuts Down Ride at Ohio State Fair

Inspectors evaluating the safety of rides at the Ohio State Fair prevented a ride from running because of what they deemed as excessive corrosion. The ride, called Kissel’s Military Base, had visibly corroded materials, and as a result was not allowed to be a part of the Ohio State Fair this year. Four other rides needed to have repairs before they could be put into service at the fair.

The crackdown on rides comes two years after an individual was killed at the Ohio State Fair on a ride during a corrosion-induced structural failure. New legislation following the death in 2017 will allow for more inspectors to ensure that safety is maintained and corrosion is thoroughly checked.

New Simulation Predicts Microstructure of Jet Engine Metals

A research team based in Japan has created a new simulation that can predict the microstructure of nickel-aluminum alloys used in jet engines. Metals in or near the combustion chamber of a jet engine are subjected to very high temperatures that can alter their microstructure. This in turn can have adverse effects on their mechanical properties and their ability to resist corrosion.

Knowing how the hot temperatures of a jet engine will modify a material's microstructure before it happens can allow materials scientists to change the material's formulation and possibly prevent these adverse effects. The software developed by the Japanese teams allows engineers to make these changes proactively, before failures occur.