Our team is all too aware of the risks of corrosion, but it’s something that you can work to avoid in your home and workplace. Preventing corrosion isn’t always an easy task, which is why it’s such a common problem within buildings in the UK. Visit our homepage for more information about solutions to corrosion and tools you can use to avoid this happening in the first place.
What is Corrosion?
Before we go any further, let’s take a look at what corrosion is and why it’s such a big issue. As gasket manufacturers, we are often asked why corrosion occurs, but it’s a natural process and, sadly, just part of life. When corrosion takes place, it’s due to the conversion of refined metal into a more stable form, including hydroxide, sulphide, or oxide. This gradually destroys the material with this chemical reaction, which is why a tight-fitting gasket and seals are so important to use. The oxygen in the water will bind to the metal molecules, which then form corrosion. Of course, corrosion may vary depending on the type of material you are using, but the process is usually very similar.
What are the Causes of Pipeline Flange Corrosion?
Now that you know why corrosion takes place, let’s take a deeper dive into the causes of corrosion. The number one reason this occurs is when there is a small space between the gasket and the sealing surface. This is often called crevice corrosion, and it regularly occurs within homes and businesses. Corrosion is common within oil and gas pipelines, especially when they are based near water. Usually, the corrosion takes place in the interior of the flange, but the exterior might remain uncorroded. This is why this issue isn’t always noticed immediately, which can cause further issues later on.
One of the reasons that corrosion receives a lot of attention within the oil and gas industry is that it can be extremely dangerous. When sour liquids and gases at higher temperatures are present in the pipeline, it can result in sour corrosion. How severe the corrosion is will depend on the operations and the environment, but it will also vary with the different liquids that are transported through the pipe. When sealing rust takes place, it can often be difficult or impossible to fix, which is why you need to prevent this from occurring in the first place.
How to Avoid Corrosion
One of the most common corrosion prevention techniques is to use maintenance paints. These are usually made from either epoxy or urethane, and they will bond with the substrate to create a hard coating. You’ll need to check that you apply the correct amount of paint, as too much or too little will make it ineffective. Be careful with the angles and the flange shapes, as you need to ensure you cover the whole area. The good news is that this solution doesn’t require any specialist equipment, but gasket manufacturers in the UK will be able to assist with suggesting the best gasket to work alongside this paint in the future.
On top of that, you could look at mechanical solutions to cover the gap. Covers and clamps are usually made from plastic or stainless steel and should come with a rubber seal as part of the design. You could also consider tapes or semi sol tapes, which are made from wax, petrolatum, or visco-elastic polymers, which are then added to a fabric to make wrapping easier. They are created to be water-repellent, which is something you must always look for when considering this solution.
Of course, there are always ways to remove corrosion if you do find this happens in your workplace or home. We recommend that you start by removing the damaged flange and then welding a new one in place. You might need to work with a professional to carry out this task, especially if you decide to machine the sealing face or add material to this part. While it’s certainly a common issue, the more you can do to prevent corrosion in the first place, the better it will be in the long run for your pipeline.
By following the tips listed above, you can work to avoid pipeline flange corrosion in the first place. You’ll want to ensure that you keep an eye on your pipeline and use a good gasket and seal to avoid this issue from occurring. The quicker you can act on corrosion when it does occur, the more likely you will be to restore the pipeline to its previous condition. For more information about how our products can help you to avoid pipeline corrosion, contact us today. We’ll be happy to discuss any concerns you have currently and how we can help to avoid this issue in the future.