Welcome to another edition of our corrosion news roundup, where we give you the latest relevant news to keep you up-to-date on the most important happenings in the world of corrosion. This week, we go down under and talk about a couple of corrosion problems facing the people of Australia. We also go down under Newark, New Jersey and discuss how they tackled a drinking water concern regarding lead pipes. There are also exciting stories about drones, pipelines and industry award winners!

F-35 Fighter Jets at Australian Base at Risk of Intergranular Corrosion

A recently-released report performed by KPMG highlights concerns that F-35s in Williamtown, Australia could be at risk of intergranular corrosion, which is a process that degrades material along its grain boundaries and can result in cracking and other forms of failure. The corrosion is of particular concern at Williamtown because of the humid and salty environment in that region of Australia. Also, the aluminum alloy 7085 used on some parts of the F-35 does not necessarily have a high degree of intergranular corrosion resistance. As a result of these issues, it has been suggested that dehumidification equipment should be implemented as a way to alleviate the risk of intergranular corrosion.

Newark NJ Adds New Corrosion Inhibitor to Water Supply

The city of Newark, New Jersey is planning to include a new additive to its water supply that will inhibit the corrosion of its lead pipes. As lead pipes age, corrosion can cause lead particles to break off of the pipe and become ingested by the those using the water supply. Lead is a hazardous substance (neurotoxin) that can have negative health effects.

The corrosion inhibitor being added is a chemical that prevents the lead from flaking off because of the protective layer it forms on the inside diameter of the lead pipe. This allows the city to continue using the pipes safely rather than performing an entire line replacement.

Recall Issued for Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Australia recently sent out a recall for its 2016 model of the Triton vehicle. The recall was deemed necessary due to corrosion of the fastener rivets that hold the running board to the vehicle, eventually leading to the running boarding breaking off. In salty conditions, this corrosion could be accelerated further. Mitsubishi will contact 2016 Triton owners and advise them on how to proceed with the recall.

Pipeline Company Fined $3.35 Million for Corrosion-related Spill

Plains All American Pipeline, a leading cross-country pipeline owning company, was recently fined $3.35 million in California for a spill that occurred in 2015. The spilled crude oil was released along the California coast and was the worst spill California has had in decades.

The spill was caused by pipeline corrosion. Inspectors hired by the government determined that the spill could have been prevented, and that Plains All American Pipeline was responsible for not using adequate prevention methods to eliminate the threat of a spill. In total, 140,000 gallons of crude were spilled and the cleanup cost over $300 million.

American Galvanizers Association Awards Released

The American Galvanizers Association recently presented awards during its 2019 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing ceremony. There were a variety of awards given for hot-dip galvanizing technological advancements and outstanding achievements using the hot-dip galvanizing process.

The Most Distinguished award went to the Whistler/Blackcomb Cloudraker Suspension Bridge and Platform in Canada. The award winner in the Marine category was the United States Navy for its use of hot-dipped galvanized material that is used to create physical barriers that can stop intruding enemy ships. Several buildings received awards as well. The Cornell Tech Bloomberg Center on Roosevelt Island in New York and the Chicago Transit Authority 95th Street Red Line Terminal were among the winners in this category. At Long Beach University in California, the Walter Pyramid received the Lifetime Achievement award. The sports facility was built 25 years ago with over 500 tons of hot-dip galvanized material.

Drones for Corrosion Detection

Drones are increasingly used to inspect components that are difficult to access. One recent example of this can be found at a refinery where the drone inspection company Industrial Skyworks came up with an innovative drone inspection solution.

At this particular refinery, there are pipes within a furnace that are heated to several thousand degrees. The pipes are closely spaced and rise vertically nearly 50 feet (15 m), and due to safety concerns regarding scratches and dents, scaffolding and ladders cannot contact the pipes. When one of the pipes had an issue, a non-intrusive inspection was required to detect corrosion and other physical defects on the remaining pipes. Manual inspection appeared to be a poor option. Industrial Skyworks provided a drone system with a white LED light and a camera to perform the operation. The drone's soft outer shield and no need for scaffolding eliminated the risk of a manual inspection causing further damage to the pipes.