Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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CORROSION 40 E&MJ • OCTOBER 2018 www.e-mj.com From a global mining viewpoint, corrosion of materials and equipment might best be described as a universal problem that de- mands localized solutions. Differences in ore characteristics, extraction processes and chemicals, or environmental condi- tions mean that a corrosion-preventative product that works well at one site might be less effective at another. Although there are plenty of products available to help solve the industry's cor- rosion concerns, it can be expensive to sink money into a one-size-fits-all solu- tion that doesn't meet the specific condi- tions of a particular problem. Experts say there is no simple rule of thumb for se- lecting the most suitable coating product or system. Taking into account the many factors that promote corrosion requires a disciplined approach to solve — or at least manage — corrosion problems. The recommended and most cost-effec- tive approach is to study a corrosion prob- lem first before choosing a product. Use tools currently available from suppliers and professional organizations to identify the cause and develop a solution. These range in complexity and scope from simple in- spection checklists that can be completed by an on-site employee and used by suppli- ers to recommend an appropriate product; or material and corrosion mapping audits conducted by specialist organizations; to top-down, enterprise-wide corrosion studies and action plans. It's been estimated that up to a quarter of all industrial corrosion problems could be prevented by employing established, well-documented techniques. Combining Technology and Management One of the most ambitious recent efforts to organize and simplify corrosion manage- ment and prevention began in 2014 when NACE International conducted a global study designed to go beyond the economic effects of corrosion. It focused on how to integrate corrosion technology with orga- nizational management systems. NACE, a professional organization headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA, and originally founded as the National Association of Corrosion Engineers in 1943, is consid- ered an authoritative source for corrosion management training and technology, with about 36,000 members in 130 countries. IMPACT—the International Measures of Prevention, Application and Economics of Corrosion Technologies was released in 2016. One of its most significant findings was that the global cost of corrosion at the time amounted to an estimated $2.5 tril- lion, which was equivalent to 3.4% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at that time. The study determined that reduc- ing the astoundingly high cost of corrosion would require a change in how decisions are made. For example, while it is import- ant to continue investing in technology for corrosion control, putting this technology into an organizational management system context and justifying corrosion control ac- tions by business impact is essential. Building on the study's findings, the NACE International Institute (NII), an affiliation of NACE International focused on helping companies improve their per- formance with corrosion management sys- tems and certification of personnel, started development of a platform to benchmark practices and improve corrosion manage- ment across all industry sectors. "Soon after we released the IMPACT study, we began to hear from respon- dents and focus group participants that they needed tools to put the report's find- ings into practice," said Elaine Bowman, IMPACT PLUS project manager. "They couldn't find any products to facilitate improved practices and asked us to devel- op a process that would help their compa- nies manage, monitor and improve their corrosion management activities." Working with the American Productivi- ty & Quality Center (APQC) — which spe- cializes in benchmarking, best practices, process and performance improvement, and knowledge management — NII devel- oped IMPACT PLUS, released in Decem- ber 2017, as an online network of tools, including a customized corrosion manage- ment process classification framework, corrosion management maturity model, and an extensive reference library. New Techniques for Tackling Corrosion As the saying goes, rust never sleeps, but mine and plant operators are waking up to new technologies for controlling it By Russell A. Carter, Contributing Editor The cost of corrosion is usually expressed in terms of 'direct' costs, but the actual number can be much higher when indirect costs are added, such as labor attributed to corrosion management activities; equipment required because of corrosion-related activities; loss of revenue due to disruptions in production; and loss of reliability. (Photo: Chemco)

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