Corrosion in the News: October 5, 2020 Roundup
This week we look at an archaeological discovery that changes what we know about the history of stainless steel, 3D printed metals, a water line replacement in Ghana, and a US Marine Corps fleet upgrade.
Welcome to the early October 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 science. This week we take a look at an exciting archaeological discovery that changes what we know about the history of stainless steel. Additional corrosion-related developments that are highlighted in this issue include a 3D printing application for cladding dissimilar corrosion-resistant metals, a massive water line replacement in Ghana prompted by leaks caused by corrosion, and a US Marine Corps fleet upgrade.
New First Origins of Stainless Steel Discovered
Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge and the University College of London believe they have found early examples of rudimentary stainless steel dating back to somewhere around 1000 BC. This discovery of steel with a low chromium content was found in Iran, and while its chemical composition does not completely match what is considered a modern stainless steel, it does appear to be an early attempt of incorporating chromium into a steel alloy.
The researchers were able to use radiocarbon dating and other methods to pinpoint the creation date of these early uses of chromium. They hypothesize that it was most likely used to improve the mechanical properties of steel weapons and armor, whereas the stainless steel of today is manufactured for its corrosion resistance in addition to its mechanical properties.
New 3D Printing Process Joins Corrosion-Resistant Alloys
Fabrisonic, a 3D printing company based in Ohio, has used its core technologies to join dissimilar amorphous alloys together for cladding purposes. The work was carried out as a part of the NASA Small Business Innovation Research Program. Using proprietary ultrasonic additive manufacturing technology, Fabrisonic specializes in solid-state additive manufacturing, in which no metal melting actually occurs. This technology results in minimal effect on the microstructure of the metals being 3D printed and also enables the option to embed sensors within the component being manufactured. Using an ultrasonic additive manufacturing technology for joining and cladding dissimilar amorphous alloys has created an end product that has high levels of strength and excellent corrosion resistance.
US Marine Corps Searching for Improved Corrosion Resistance with Fleet Upgrade
The United States Marine Corps is looking into the best way to upgrade its fleet of land vehicles, and one of the most important factors Marine Corps leadership is weighing is resistance to corrosion. Because many Marine Corps vehicles are amphibious (intended for both land and water environments), so corrosion has been a problem in the past because many of the materials used in these vehicles are steel and much of their use occurs in salt water. Furthermore, there is seldom time to thoroughly clean a vehicle immediately after each use. The Corps is most likely looking to leverage some combination of advanced protective coating and advanced material technology in order to combat this problem as the ongoing fleet upgrade continues.
Spill Response Vessel MGPS System Awarded to Cathelco
Cathelco, a United Kingdom-based ship equipment and marine growth prevention system manufacturer, has been selected for a new oil spill recovery vessel being built in Turkey for Kuwait Oil Company. Like all marine growth prevention systems, the one Cathelco will provide to the Kuwait Oil Company will be used to prevent organism growth (biofouling) and corrosion in the piping aboard a ship that is used to transport seawater.
Serious corrosion risks, in addition to other problems such as cooling system inefficiencies, can arise if organisms are allowed to multiply and congregate in certain areas of marine vessel pipe systems. Corrosion in these pipes can cause rupturing that leads to vessel system failures and flooding. Cathelco's intent is to inhibit biological growth through a series of copper anodes that prevent certain organisms from blocking pipes and with ferrous anodes that help prevent corrosion.
Corrosion Causes Pipeline Replacement in Ghana
The largest treated water line in Ghana has recently begun a replacement program. Ghana Water Company, the company in charge of the replacement, is digging up the 53-kilometer long, 42-inch diameter pipeline because of corrosion-induced ruptures that resulted in water spills during the water line's 50-year lifespan.
The replacement project is expected to disrupt some communities that will be unable to access water during construction. While corrosion of the entire line has warranted a complete replacement, the Ghana Water Company will begin by focusing on the highest risk areas first. Unfortunately, the company was unable to procure a suitable polymer-based pipe for the replacement, so they will be using coated steel pipes to replace the existing line. The coating on the steel pipe should help reduce excessive corrosion in the future.
Ruptured Tank Results in Oil Spill near a Colorado School
Oil tanks near an elementary school in Rangely, Colorado were recently found by a local citizen to be leaking. After reaching out to authorities, it was determined that the small leak amounted to less than one barrel of oil. There is no clarification as to what caused the oil spill, but given the age of the tanks and what appears to be rust on the tanks' exterior, corrosion could be to blame. The company that owns the tanks claims it has thoroughly cleaned up the spill by digging up the contaminated soil and laying the tanks down horizontally. The owning company also says that they are working with the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to completely resolve the issue.