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Corrosion Management

Our “Iron Pillar” Way to Resolve Corrosion
Management Challenges in India

M Valliappan

                                                                                     though they corrode when...

Indian chemical industries comprise
small, medium and large - scale
units. The chemical industry which

another, without interfering with the
autonomy of any other Acts / Rules.
   The weakest factors identified

                                                                                of technologies that can solv...
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Our Iron Pillar Way to Resolve Corrosion Management Challenges in India


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This paper describes various means required to resolve corrosion management challenges in India.

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Our Iron Pillar Way to Resolve Corrosion Management Challenges in India

  1. 1. Features Corrosion Management Our “Iron Pillar” Way to Resolve Corrosion Management Challenges in India M Valliappan The latest surveys show that the worldwide direct cost of corrosion is between 3.1 to 3.5 percent of a nation’s GDP annually. These results reflect only the direct cost of corrosion that include essentially materials, equipment and services involved with repair, maintenance and replacement and does not include the environmental damage, waste of resources, loss of production or personal injury resulting from corrosion. Corrosion experts have concluded that a net of 20 to 25 percent of that annual cost can be saved by applying currently available corrosion control technologies. T he Iron Pillar of Delhi is a 7 materials. meter (22 feet) high pillar in the Qutb complex which is Primary iron dissolution reaction notable for the composition of the seems to be simple. metals used in its construction. It has withstood corrosion for over Fe →Fe 2+ + 2e - 1,600 years in the open air. This historic fact shows our strengths The deleterious nature of this in developing corrosion resistant reaction is evident in many surveys materials. But our present position reported in India and elsewhere on corrosion problems faced by in the world. It also includes the many industries in India seems to effect of corrosion on many metallic be a disturbing fact. Corrosion costs materials and engineering plastics. reported by various agencies in many The latest surveys show that the countries revealed the alarming worldwide direct cost of corrosion is situations experienced all over the between 3.1 to 3.5 percent of a nation’s world and the efforts we need to take GDP annually. These results reflect in many ways to counteract ‘Metallic only the direct cost of corrosion, Cancer’, the term often used to essentially materials, equipment, describe deterioration of metallic and services involved with repair, Chemical Engineering World | 64 | FEBRUARY 2010
  2. 2. Features though they corrode when exposed to acid. On the night of the disaster, a leaking carbon steel valve was found, allowing water to enter the MIC tanks. The pipe was not repaired because it was believed it would take too much time and be too expensive (Source: wiki/Bhopal_disaster) Selection Process - Is it a material or process issue? When selecting construction materials it is essential to know how the materials will behave when exposed to the actual operating environment. In particular, special attention must be given to the following factors: potential for maintenance and replacement. It  o we use our national resources D corrosion, operating temperatures does not include the environmental properly to address this alarming and pressures, unexpected operating damage, waste of resources, loss effect and find solutions? conditions and startup and shut- of production, or personal injury  ho is responsible for these W down procedures. A large share resulting from corrosion. At the problems – academic society or of equipment operation and same time, corrosion experts have research institutions or designers maintenance costs in the chemical concluded that a net of 20 to 25 or technology providers or end- processing industries are the result percent of that annual cost can be users or collection of all? of materials failure due to abrasive, saved by applying currently available corrosive or high temperature corrosion control technologies Now is the time for corrosion environments. If corrosion is not an (Source: professionals to join together to issue, the least expensive material Astounding corrosion costs educate industry, governments, and with the appropriate mechanical reported in various media in India the public. Now is the time to work properties is usually selected. raise many questions and call for together to harmonize standards and immediate actions to reduce such practices around the world and to Industries Classification for costs through various means of communicate and share corrosion Corrosion Costs corrosion control available all over mitigation technologies. Now is Corrosion cost surveys conducted the world. the time to make a major impact to by various agencies in the US and  o we preserve our precious D protect the environment, preserve elsewhere in the world included material resources for the future resources, and protect our fellow five major sector categories and generation? human beings (Source: http://www. 26 sectors. Major categories  o our government and D are: Infrastructure, Utilities, industries pay attention to Our country can’t forget the Transportation, Production and corrosion problems? night of terror and death in Bhopal Manufacturing and Government.  o we have a proper survey to D on Decmeber 3, 1984. One of the The economy of India is as diverse account for corrosion problems factors identified for the cause of as it is large, with a number of major faced by all industry sectors? gas leakage was ‘Possible corroding sectors including manufacturing  s our focus on specific industries I material in pipelines’. Carbon steel industries, agriculture, textiles to find solutions for corrosion? valves were used at the factory, even and handicrafts and services. The Chemical Engineering World | 66 | FEBRUARY 2010
  3. 3. Features Indian chemical industries comprise small, medium and large - scale units. The chemical industry which includes basic chemicals and their intermediates, petrochemicals, fertilisers, paints, pesticides, bulk-drugs and pharmaceuticals is one of the most diversified industrial sectors covering more than 70,000 commercial products. While some chemical industries are knowledge based and small, collaboration of industry, academia  hallenge No 3: To raise public C others are large, requiring huge and educational infrastructure with awareness of corrosion and capital and interrupted power and India spending only 0.8 percent corrosion control. other infrastructure for production. of its total GDP on research and  hallenge No 4: To develop C There are 7 major chemical clusters innovation which is much lower as corrosion-related standards identified in a survey conducted by compared to developed countries for our Indian conditions Technical Group (Source: National such as US, Japan, Germany and and support the worldwide Chemical Management Profile, France (Source: Ernst and Young normalization process. CPCB, India). OPPI Report, Aug 2009) Now-a-days the Business The science of corrosion Legislation: Make it compulsory is becoming competitive day by prevention and control is highly to use proper corrosion day due to Government’s policy of complex, exacerbated by the fact that management means liberalisation and globalisation. The corrosion takes many different forms Corrosion Prevention Act of 2009 business and industry is passing and is affected by numerous outside has been introduced in the US to through the phase of bearing risk after factors. With its many forms, causes, amend the Internal Revenue Code risk. ‘Business is always associated and associated prevention methods, of 1986 to encourage the use of with the risk factor’. The types of risks corrosion obviously is highly complex corrosion prevention and mitigation involved depend upon the nature and requires extensive expertise and measures in the construction and of construction and production significant resources to control. maintenance of business energy- activity in plants. More hazardous related property. plant erection, commissioning and Global Challenges on Corrosion In such a large country like operating activity involves risk of Management- Our Stand India with its diverse spectrum accident and breakdown (Source: What is our present stand on of chemical manufacturing and Vigilance the challenges (Source: http://www. consumption, laying of legislation through operation, maintenance identified for corrosion is not an easy task but it has been and inspection is required to operate management by worldwide corrosion accomplished to a great extent due these plants in a safe manner and control agencies and professional to the country’s democratic and protect the environment. organizations? federal political structure. The most important aspect is that these wide Our Position: Use present  hallenge No1 : To identify C spectrums of legislation are mutually resources for future savings world best practices in corrosion exclusive and their overlapping is India has been rated highest in management that suits our not significant. Approximately 15 terms of cost efficiency, technical Indian conditions. Acts and 19 Rules have been laid competency and skilled manpower  hallenge No 2: To facilitate the C down for chemical management. attractiveness. However India lacks provision of corrosion control The Environment (Protection) Act, a culture of innovation due to legacy expertise to governments, 1986 serves as an umbrella Act and issues such as low levels of funding, industries and communities. can link other Acts in one way or Chemical Engineering World | 68 | FEBRUARY 2010
  4. 4. Features another, without interfering with the autonomy of any other Acts / Rules. The weakest factors identified with regard to implementing legislations are inspection, vigilance and public awareness. With respect to inspection and vigilance, the inherent limitation is lack of manpower and standardization of procedures for inspection and vigilance (Source: None of these acts address corrosion concerns. Considering the severity associated with corrosion problems and its influence on other management activities especially the environmental protection, our position is to identify the best possible on the flow of information from corrosion control required to ensure way for structuring a base corrosion one component to another and the life of assets, which is monitored management act which shall be the quality of data it takes in for through various means available for linked with other main acts. various processes. Any broken link the whole process. The next step is to or avoidance of any component capture all information produced and What do we really need? leads to ‘Uncertainties’ that reduce processed by the corrosion design The cost of developing and confidence levels of finding ‘Optimal’ components and link with other incorporating advanced materials is solutions to corrosion problems. pertinent management systems for high. The reliability of new materials Prediction needs to be done to integrated analysis. is unproven in most practical carry out any functional analysis. Our Finally, the information gathered applications and exploring their use ‘Own Experience’ is a good starter for various design processes is in a process environment is risky. followed by using the appropriate verified for its compliance with Significant R&D, from bench scale software models available for Company-Regional-National- experiments to the construction industry specific applications International regulations for and testing of prototypes, is usually (Truth: Significant developments are operating the plant/system in a safe necessary before a new material noticed for Energy Production sector manner. Application of systems can be implemented in chemical only) and gathering experience identified in the design process processing equipment (Source: from similar plants and systems. needs to be continuously monitored Technology Roadmap for Materials of Technology providers with specific and controlled as and when required Construction, Materials Technology skills in Prediction form a systematic to see the effectiveness of resources Institute, USA, 1998). approach of identifying the design required to achieve safe and reliable Our focus is always on using requirements and providing environment. the existing resources to find a integrated solutions. Assessment of Design-Apply- suitable ‘Iron Pillar Way’ of Corrosion Designing a system to meet Monitor-Control processes is very Management. Various functions out corrosion challenges is always crucial in the whole functional involved in the functional analysis of superior to finding solutions as and analysis to verify and provide inputs corrosion management are: Predict- when corrosion problems occur. It is for strengthening Predict process. Design-Apply-Monitor-Control- not the design of equipments alone. The main driver for the successful Assess. There are several steps involved in assessment process is: Who is doing Reliability and effectiveness of the design process. It starts with what is needed, Application of this functional analysis is centered the material selection followed by corrosion control measures executed Chemical Engineering World | 69 | FEBRUARY 2010
  5. 5. Features of technologies that can solve the engineering grand challenges related to the sustainability and vulnerability of current, legacy and future engineered products, systems, and infrastructure. In general, materials being used in the modern world are being pushed to the limits of their operability. The demands will require a workforce conscious of environmental attack on all types of systems and having the ability to anticipate and design for sustainability under extreme conditions. The engineering by Technology Providers (materials Corrosion Management Services workforce must have a solid suppliers corrosion control supply (CMS) is an example company for understanding of the physical and houses, chemical treatment, cathodic providing independent Technology chemical bases of corrosion, as protection and protective coatings; Provider neutral analysis and assists well as an understanding of the monitoring technologies-corrosion, the asset owners to set up the review engineering issues surrounding inspection and process; management panel for all phases of corrosion corrosion and corrosion abatement systems -prediction, corrosion management and its interfaces with (Source: Assessment of Corrosion management and asset integrity other management activities. Education, The National Academic systems) needs to be reviewed Corrosion is a complex process in Press, USA, 2008). by Technology Assessors. These nature. It needs a complete network assessors should come from in- of various agencies as listed in the house corrosion technology experts graph. Our country is yet to see the available with the asset owner or the full fledged corrosion management M Valiappan is Corrosion non-corrosion management group programs for all types of industries, Management Consultant ably supported by an independent small, medium and large scale. email: corrosion. review panel comprises external Advances in corrosion control experts in various disciplines. are integral to the development KBR Awarded Contract by Matix Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd Houston, Texas: KBR announced that it has been methane. The use of coal bed methane as feedstock awarded a contract by Matix Fertilisers and Chemicals in the ammonia synthesis process is a relatively new Limited (MFCL) a Matix Group Company owned application that provides an alternative to the use of by Kanoria family in India to provide licensing and natural gas in areas where coal is abundant. engineering services for its grassroots 2,200 metric tons “This selection of KBR’s Purifier Ammonia per day (MTPD) ammonia plant located in West Bengal, technology for this mega grassroots ammonia plant India. MFCL is setting up the largest ammonia/urea demonstrates the quality and versatility of this (1.3 million tons per annum) manufacturing facilities in unmatched technology,” said Tim Challand, President, the country, along with Captive Power Plant, utilities, Technology for KBR. “We are pleased that Matix found infrastructure and railway siding in the complex. value in our technology and look forward to providing KBR will license its Purifier Ammonia technology effective, efficient long-term solutions for both Matix for the Matix plant, which will be based on coal bed and the region.” Chemical Engineering World | 70 | FEBRUARY 2010