Corrosion in the News: May 18, 2020 Roundup
This week’s stories highlight a nuclear power plant that completed repairs to corroded equipment, corrosion-induced vehicle recalls, a bridge collapse and 3D-printed additive manufacturing.
Welcome to the mid-May 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 and monitoring. This week, we highlight a story about a nuclear power plant that successfully completed repairs to corroded equipment. Other interesting stories include several corrosion-induced recalls involving motorcycles and luxury vehicles, a bridge collapse investigation and the aerospace quality certification of an advanced additive manufacturing powder plant to create corrosion-resistant titanium powder.
Repairs Completed to a Corroded Nuclear Reactor
The Beaver Valley Nuclear Station has just finished repairing a corroded area on one if its vessel heads. The vessel head corrosion was discovered in April during a routine downtime inspection. Each vessel head contains numerous penetrations, which are holes where fuel rods are inserted. The head was immediately deactivated upon discovery of the problem. Fortunately, the corrosion was detected in its early stages and had not yet completely penetrated through the entire wall thickness, meaning that no radiation leakage had occurred. Due to the successful repair, the vessel head will not need to be replaced, and officials from the nuclear plant said the scheduled outage would not need to be extended.
Rolls-Royce and the University of Manchester Form Graphene Partnership
The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and the Rolls-Royce aerospace division have partnered together to advance the science and application of graphene and other nanomaterials in aerospace engines. Within the broad application possibilities, the two parties will seek out ways to successfully use graphene technologies in electrical components to reduce corrosion. In addition to improved corrosion resistance, the group aims to reduce the weight and enhance the capabilities of the electrical systems on Rolls-Royce aerospace engines through graphene usage. With maintenance and fuel costs being a major concern in the airline industry, corrosion resistance and weight reductions can be a major advantage for aerospace engine manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce.
McLaren Issues Recall Due to Corrosion Concerns
The luxury automobile manufacturer McLaren recently announced a corrosion-related recall of nearly 3,000 of its vehicles in the United States. McLaren discovered that a foam pad installed underneath the fuel tanks for noise reduction on some of its models might retain liquid somewhat like a sponge. This liquid retention can form an electrolytic cell that in turn could potentially hasten the corrosion of the fuel tank. Although no fuel leaks have yet been discovered, if the corrosion went through the wall of the fuel tank, it could cause a leak and subsequent fire in an extreme scenario. To prevent this, McLaren decided to issue the recall to fix the issue before any failures occur. The models affected included the 2020 GT, the 2020 Senna, the 2017-19 570 GT and the 2016-20 720S. More information can be found on the NHTSA.gov website under recall reports 20V-231.
Corrosion to Blame for Deadly Bridge Collapse
After months of investigation, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board (TTSB) has determined that corrosion was one of the major causes of a deadly bridge collapse. The Nanfang’ao Bridge at the Nanfang’ao Fishing Port in Taiwan collapsed last October, falling onto boats beneath it and killing several people. Deterioration of the steel suspension cables caused by corrosion resulted in several cable failures. Although inspections were regularly performed for over a decade, those inspections stopped in 2016. The TTSB also found that the inspection methodology for the bridge would have been inadequate to detect some of the corrosion that caused the collapse. A complete report of the investigation will be finished by the end of the summer, and a new bridge is expected to be constructed in 2022.
Titanium Powder Additive Manufacturing Powder Plant Achieves Aerospace Approval
Sandvik, a global engineering and materials firm based in Sweden, has recently gained AS9100D approval for a new titanium additive manufacturing powder plant. The AS9100D certification is a quality requirement for aerospace manufacturing. The approval makes Sandvik one of the few powder manufacturers that have AS9100D certification. The aerospace industry is looking to use titanium additive powders to create 3D printed components due to its excellent corrosion resistance, in addition to many other benefits. Using titanium additive manufacturing powders allow aerospace manufacturers to create complex, corrosion-resistant parts.
Corrosion Prompts Motorcycle Recall
Potentially defective brake pads used on both Ducati and Triumph motorcycles have caused the manufacturers to issue recalls. The models affected are the 2017 Ducati Supperleggera and several different 2017-19 Triumph models. The concern is that corrosion on the backing plate of the brake pads will cause the friction material to delaminate and therefore reduce the efficacy of the stopping power of the brake pads. In the recall documentation, the corrosion was identified to occur as a result of microcracks in the backing plate, which increase corrosion rates. The corrosion in turn reduces the ability of the brake friction material to adhere to the backing plate, resulting in delamination. More information can be found on the NHTSA.gov website under recall reports 20V-232 and 20V-236.