Cause & Effect: Corrosion in Piping

Leaky Pipe 2

Corrosion in piping is not only common, but it also can cause catastrophic failures in industrial, commercial, and residential settings. Not only is Steel City NDTUltrasonic Testing: A Brief Overview. Read more ... » LLC capable of testing for corrosion, but we are also able to tell you the extent of the corrosion.

  • Causes of Corrosion

  1. pH of the medium contained within the piping system
  2. Temperature of the medium – The hotter the water, the more pronounced the corrosion
  3. Velocity of the medium – Not only can excessive velocity cause corrosion, but sudden changes in direction due to elbows or turns can also do the same
  4. Chemical make up – If referring to a water piping system, things like excessive calcium can cause buildup and eventually corrosion
  5. Oxygen content – Oxygen is another thing that corrodes and degrades metals by converting the metal to rust
  • Effects of Corrosion

  1. Leaks – On average, about 25% of steel pipes will have a leaking connection within it’s first 5 years of use
  2. Drop in pressure – Even the slightest corrosion causes an irregular inner surface profile which causes unacceptable drops in pressure
  3. Air contamination – When compressed air passes through a rusted or corroded pipe, it becomes contaminated with hydrogen ions and rust particles
  4. Wasted energy – When a pipe becomes choked off by rust buildup, piping systems will consume extra power to overcome this friction


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