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Photo by pisauikan / Unsplash

Host: Travis Loop
Guest: Mike Lang | Senior Product Manager | Atkore
Category: 🤖 Technology

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:58] “Corrosion […] is a natural process of the degradation of materials. […] Most commonly […] we're talking about steel corrosion, which […] [is] rusting. […] Specifically in water and wastewater, you […] got water, which is one of the mediums for starting the process of corrosion. But you also have chemicals and microbiological elements there to […] increase that likelihood and increase the speed of corrosion.”

[3:24] “Steel in itself is made up of a number of different metals, iron, tin, magnesium and such, and the fact that they're different materials, the ions will actually move from one spot to another. Usually, when water is introduced to it, you'll actually have iron on one side mixed with tin, those are two dissimilar metals. Ions want to move from one spot to another, it develops an anode and a cathode, and the anode will sacrifice its ions to the cathode. And then we'll actually have material ions moving from one spot to another. So your iron is sacrificing ions, it's going to leave a pit or damage to […] that spot. And what we see is when the ions go to the cathartic side […] and it piles up. That's the red rust that we see.

[4:49] “You'll get the degradation of the material, of the steel itself. It'll go all the way down to where it just doesn't work anymore. So you got holes in tanks and then you got leaking and just to complete failure. On electrical systems, it's even worse because steel conduit holds electrical conductors. You got you got wires in there powering the plant. And it's there to protect those wires from the elements. So if you start to have steel conduit systems rusting and corroding out […], you can be in danger of electrical failure, electrocution, and shock and fire and all these other bad things that will happen when you start to get a damaged electrical system.

[5:56] “In a wastewater situation, you're treating [water] with different chemicals to get rid of the bad stuff, but the presence of stuff like ammonia or carbon dioxide […] accelerate[s] the corrosion. But […] specifically in wastewater, you have microbiologically induced corrosion, where the actual living microbes that you're dealing with in water and wastewater will also accelerate it. So you'll have to take measures to stop that process, or at least greatly slow it down.”

[9:09] “It's really a matter of selecting the right materials that are corrosion resistant to begin with. Stainless steel is probably one of the best ones as far as a steel solution, because it is corrosion resistant itself. […] Obviously that would be a very, very expensive solution for water plants. So typically, you'd use a PVC coated GRC, galvanized rigid conduit. […] It's got a layer of zinc that protects it from corrosion.”

Rating: 💧

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🕰️ 15 min | 🗓️ 02/24/2022
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