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Service Exposure

Last updated: April 6, 2020

What Does Service Exposure Mean?

Service exposure refers to the actual environment in which equipment is exposed to and subjected to during its operation. This exposure is used to determine the effectiveness of corrosion protection methods such as coatings and inhibitors.

By understanding service exposure conditions, manufacturers can determine the appropriate protection to last throughout the equipment lifespan, minimizing corrosion and related failures.


Corrosionpedia Explains Service Exposure

Corrosive environments are influenced by several factors, and the extent of corrosion varies from one medium to another. Other than environmental factors, corrosion may arise due to byproducts of a process or inefficiency of a system such as leaks.

Manufacturers usually carry out accelerated laboratory testing or short-term service exposure tests to determine the effectiveness of protective methods. The accelerated test is only indicative and may not include all factors present in the real operational environment.

A typical short-term service exposure test for automotive coatings is carried out by placing multiple test panels of automotive finishes onto automotive test fleets that traverse a defined road course. The test takes about ten weeks with the panel exposed to the environment for at least 20 hours a day, seven days a week and accumulating over 100,000 miles of exposure. Such testing is valuable for the verification of the performance of automotive coatings and correlation with laboratory test data.

Various service exposure factors that influence the rate of corrosion are:

  • Chemistry of the medium, such as the presence of acids, alkalis, reactive salts and factors such as electrical conductivity and resistance
  • Type of exposure, whether fluctuating, partial or complete, and whether the equipment is exposed to chemicals, sunlight, humidity, moisture, condensation, splash exposure and other weather effects
  • Temperature, fog, snowfall, storm, UV exposure, etc.
  • Reactivity and properties of the products being handled either as final products, inputs or byproducts
  • Particulate matter (PM), a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air, may consist of several components such as acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles

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