Welcome to the Corrosionpedia News Roundup. In this edition of our corrosion news look-around, we dive into the potential merger of two titanic professional societies in the corrosion industry. Also in the news is a radioactive waste tunnel almost compromised by corrosion. Bacteria and artificial intelligence join the fight against corrosion, and advanced materials are used in bridge repair and replacement applications. Enjoy!

Radioactive Waste Contained Amidst Corrosion Concerns

A radioactive waste tunnel at a facility in the state of Washington, United States, was recently reinforced with many tons of concrete after concerns arose that it might collapse. Heavy snowfall placed a lot of weight on the tunnel, which was constructed out of steel. The structure's integrity concerns were heightened when information was gathered via nondestructive inspection methods that some of the welds and fasteners inside the tunnel had corroded. If allowed to collapse, radioactive material could have been released into the surrounding area, endangering human life and the environment.

Artificial Intelligence Used to Prevent Corrosion Failures

The American Bureau of Shipping, Google and SoftServe are joining forces to develop artificial intelligence capable of preventing catastrophic failures caused by corrosion for the shipping and offshore industries. The three entities are sharing knowledge to develop artificial intelligence that scans images of ship's hulls and offshore platforms.

Discrepancies and abnormalities in a series of images or videos of these maritime structures can be detected by artificial intelligence through a rapid scanning process. When an abnormality is noted on an image scan, further investigation can be performed on that area of the ship or offshore structure, saving countless hours of labor and preventing potentially unidentified areas from failing.

NACE and SSPC Discuss Potential Merger

In the past several weeks, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) and the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) have been meeting to devise a plan to merge the two professional associations. Although the idea has been put forward, it is still in its first phase with many talks expected over the coming months.

Benefits need to be weighed against disadvantages, and key stakeholders need to be heard before any merger can be finalized. NACE is a much larger industry by membership than SSPC, roughly 38,000 versus 16,000, respectively. The scope of NACE’s work is also substantially larger, focusing on all forms of corrosion, whereas the SSPC is mostly focused on coatings.

If you really want to learn more about the ins and outs of this potential merger, check out this episode of the Tech Service Podcast by Carboline. It includes interviews with both Bill Worms, the executive director of the SSPC, and Bob Chalker, the CEO of NACE.

Bacteria Found to Prevent Degradation in Concrete

An engineering team at Drexel University has found that bacteria can help limit road deterioration caused by deicing agents. While chemical deicing compounds keep drivers safe in the winter time by melting snow and ice to improve traction, one popular type of deicer, calcium chloride, also causes roads to degrade rapidly when it combines with the melted ice water to form calcium oxychloride.

The calcium oxychloride creates an undesirable stress in the roads, which causes the roads to fracture and for potholes to form. The bacteria being used in the experiment at Drexel University were able to turn the calcium chloride into calcium carbonate instead of calcium oxychloride. Calcium carbonate is less harmful to cement than the calcium oxychloride, which means these bacteria could be used to extend the service life of the roads before a repair is required.

Successful First Project Using New Bridge and Marine Piling Material

A recently developed bridge piling material has been successfully implemented in New Jersey. FiberPILE, manufactured by Composite Advantage, is a fiber-reinforced polymer developed specifically to be used as a piling material. Because it is a polymer, it is less subject to corrosion, and it is still able to maintain high levels of strength thanks to its fiber reinforcement.

In New Jersey, rotting wood components on a bridge were failing to serve their intended purpose. New pilings made out of FiberPILE were installed in their place and have been successful so far, resulting in industry interest about other applications for the new product.

Old Bridge Demolished, New Stainless Steel Bridge Opened for Use

In North Carolina, the demolition of the old Herbert C. Bonner Bridge continues following the opening of the new Marc Basnight Bridge. The Bonner Bridge is being demolished because of excessive degradation and corrosion that could have compromised the safety of the bridge. Scour was also a concern for the old bridge.

The new Basnight Bridge is the first bridge in North Carolina to use stainless steel to reinforce the structure. This will allow the new bridge to better resist the corrosion than can occur as a result of the saltwater environment where it is located. The bridge connects a string of islands off of North Carolina’s coast to the mainland.