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Corrosion in the News: September 21, 2020 Roundup

By Corrosionpedia Staff
Published: September 21, 2020
Key Takeaways

This week we look at the development of an environmentally friendly inhibitor made from sunflower oil, a new corrosion-resistant steel for high-speed rails and a theory as to why there is rust on the moon.

Welcome to the mid-September 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 cover the development of an environmentally friendly inhibitor made from sunflower oil. Additional corrosion-related developments highlighted in this issue include a new corrosion-resistant steel for high-speed rails, a theory as to why there is rust on the moon, and an exciting partnership between Google and the United States Navy to battle corrosion.


Sunflower Oil Found to Prevent Corrosion

A recent study conducted by researchers at Kazan University has found that using sunflower oil as part of the formula for certain types of corrosion inhibitors can be quite effective at preventing corrosion. The experiments were carried out with the intent of developing an inhibitor that can be successfully deployed in oil and gas production facilities.

Most existing inhibitors are either expensive or environmentally unsafe. One of the main objectives of the development is to ensure that the sunflower oil-based corrosion inhibitor will not be hazardous to the environment, especially given the large amount of oil and gas production that occurs offshore. The researchers also highlighted that sunflower oil-based inhibitors not only deter corrosion but they also prevent the formation of gas hydrates. (Related reading: The 4 Important Corrosion Sources in Natural Gas Dehydration Process Plants.)


Rust Found on the Moon

A recent discovery by a team of researchers has found through a light spectrum analysis that a form of iron corrosion, or rusting, is occurring on the moon. This is notable because the moon lacks virtually any form of oxygen or water molecules. It is also surprising because the moon is flooded with hydrogen, which should work to prevent the formation of rust. The study, led by Shuai Li at the University of Hawaii, tackled each of these issues individually. The study suggests that the solar winds that normally push a stream of hydrogen to the moon is temporarily blocked by the Earth during certain parts of the lunar cycle, eliminating its ability to prevent corrosion. Also, oxygen molecules from the Earth can arrive in trace amounts to the moon, which allows oxidation to occur. Finally, small amounts of water could be transported to the moon via the solid debris that is constantly impacting the moon’s surface. The combination of the periodic lack of hydrogen and the trace presence of oxygen and water molecules are hypothesized to make the rusting possible on the moon.

Deadly Accident Caused by Corrosion

An investigation into a deadly crash in Pennsylvania that occurred in 2018 has been closed recently. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) carried out the investigation, which found corrosion to be the root cause. The accident occurred when a piece of conduit fell in the LeHigh Tunnel of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The conduit broke the windshield of a truck, causing the driver to crash and become fatally injured. The NTSB said that the Federal Highway Administration does not offer enough direction on how to monitor and prevent this type of corrosion, which in turn led to the conduit corroding and breaking free from its supports.

New Corrosion-Resistant Steel Used for First Time on High-Speed Railways

Baosteel, a subsidiary of the Chinese iron and steel company Baowu Group, recently developed a new type of alloy steel known as U68CuCr for high-speed railways. The steel has had its first use as the rail material for an actual high-speed rail project, the Shiziyang Tunnel high-speed rail tunnel that goes under part of the Pearl River. U68CuCr corrosion-resistant steel boasts an improved ability to fight corrosion over traditional high-speed rail material, while still maintaining excellent wear resistance and tensile strength properties.

Scrubber Manufacturer Now Offers Corrosion-Resistant Overboard Pipes

Yara Marine, a manufacturer of exhaust gas cleaning systems (also known as scrubbers) has decided to produce their own overboard pipes that are used to dispose of exhaust waste after going through the scrubber. The new pipes are a response to complaints from end users.


Historically, Yara manufactured the scrubber, delivered it to a shipyard, and then the shipyard outfitted the scrubber with overboard pipes during the scrubber installation. The complaints originated because end users said that the overboard pipes provided from the shipyard were not corrosion resistant enough to handle the acidic material coming from the scrubber. Therefore, Yara Marine will now offer the option to provide their own proprietary overboard pipes that are more corrosion-resistant to the shipyard along with their scrubbers to ensure that the entire exhaust gas cleaning system can function properly for longer periods of time.

Google to Work with US Navy to Detect Corrosion

A recent announcement by Google highlights that it will be helping the United States Navy to detect corrosion. Google’s cloud computing division and a Google Cloud partner, Simple Technology Solutions, will pair up to use Google’s artificial intelligence technologies, such as machine learning, to sift through images taken by drones. The goal is to rapidly determine the amount of corrosion a particular vessel has undergone. Simple Technology Services and Google Cloud will work with corrosion scientists and engineers from the United States Navy to build an artificial intelligence model that will enable the system to quickly recognize what is corrosion, what is not, and to what extent the corrosion has developed.


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