From The Editor's Corner

“Corrosion never sleeps.” Corrosion is not in quarantine

The world's leading consumer of steel

Nowadays, and starting from the marked and very valued quotation among corrosionists, concerning with the omnipresence of the phenomena, it is due to thinking about the lockdown forced by the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic. At this point, it is useful to remember Shell’s speaker, 100 years old, when he said: “While you read these words, almost a ton of iron has started and finished off been corroded.” On the other side, estimations say that about ten percent of the steel consumed worldwide is used for the replacement of parts and equipment that have been corroded previously. According to the World Steel Association, the global apparent consumption of steel in 2019 was 1767 million tons. In other words, and paraphrasing out a colleague from Shell, right now, we can say that “While you read these words, almost 20 ton of iron has started and finished off been corroded”. Without any doubt, corrosion is the main consumer of steel.

A sustainability problem

Such a situation is directly related to the impact of corrosion problems. Now, when humankind is looking for a more sustainable world, the relevance of materials deterioration on pollution grows. Also, natural resources are depleting at very worrying levels. Consequently, calls like the Sustainable Development Goals – SDG, by the United Nations and the Circular Economy principles are asking for better handling of the corrosion phenomena, at different levels. It is necessary to make more and more efforts for the minimization of steelmaking emissions, and one of the ways is to reduce the percentage of steel used to replace parts and structures that had been corroded. In the same way, saving of minerals and raw materials, in general, will be favored.

A business problem

One other usually mentioned corrosion effect concerns the cost of the problem. Several studies about that had confirmed that the yearly cost of corrosion is equivalent to some points percent of the GDP of each country. The Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2015 determined that in this country, the cost of corrosion and costs associated with representative industries was c.a. US $ 310.000 million (Hou, B. et al. (2017). npj Materials Degradation. 1. 10.1038/s41529-017-0005-2).

Furthermore, NACE International launched a special program named IMPACT (, which is oriented to give an effective answer to the situation, both globally and nationally: According to its latest studies, the worldwide corrosion cost in 2013 was about US $2.500.000.000, which is equivalent to 3.4% of the global GDP. In addition, the same report says that using available corrosion control practices, savings between US $375.000 million and US $875.000 million could be realized.

At the national level, NACE estimated the cost of corrosion in the USA, in 2013, as 2.7% of the GDP (US $451.440 million). Such a huge amount is related to facts like the cost of corrosion suffered by approximately 1.483.000 km of municipal water piping across the country, and 16.400 waste-water plants treating about 155 million m3 per day (1995). Also, in 2013, there were an estimated 607.380 bridges, and approximately one-third of them were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. In the same way, a lot of problems on the infrastructure supporting economic sectors as electrical utilities, O&G, pulp and paper, and so on. In the same direction, NACE estimate “that 50% of all corrosion costs are preventable, and approximately 85% of these are in the area of coatings.” This is the reason to say that the total yearly cost of organic and metallic protective coatings in the US was US $108.6 million.

Corrosion during the quarantine

Certainly, all the above approaches were used in the time of the “Old Normal”, a well-known condition, very different of the slowdown imposed by the current pandemic. How has this unexpected situation affected the above estimations? It is easy to understand that operation regimes changed in different ways. Furthermore, permanent protective practices like maintenance and anti-corrosive measurements have been affected. Experts are running out of jobs. Education and training actions were interrupted or abruptly changed. International markets are disturbed, logistics chains are broken, conventional policies are obsolete, and many of the signals show that a contracted economy will be part of the “New Normal”. Behind such spectrum, there are huge amounts of materials, parts, equipment, and structures suffering a corrosive attack, at least in part abandoned because “corrosion is not in quarantine”. What have been the effects on the corrosion cost? On the environment? On health risks? On security? …

I invite you to think about that, to evaluate the effect of the lockdown on your assets, and to share your results and comments if you like that. Materials Business newsletter will always be an open channel for your professional messages. Remember: Protection of materials and equipment is good business!

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

Taking care of the aviation heritage

The Experimental Aircraft Association (Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA) and AkzoNobel joined efforts to restore “the tin goose”, the world’s first luxury airliner, built in 1929 -Link-. The AkzoNobel Alumigrip system, looking for the recovery of the authentic color scheme, but also offering a proper corrosion protection for many more years. An option of coating recommended the Company as a good option on the aerospace industry.

Matapal project

One of the upstream major BP current projects has been developed by BP Trinidad & Tobago (BP - Repsol) at the Caribbean region. This is the Matapal project, a gas resource discovered in 2017, associated to the Juniper platform (Trinidad). It is currently under construction. Its start up is scheduled on 2022, and its expected production capacity will be 400 million standard cubic feet of gas (LNG) per day -Link-

High entropy alloy coatings

TWI announced that the Institute, in a consortium with other 12 European partners from R&D, academy and industry, will be starting the project FORGE, led by MBN Nanomaterialia, on October, 2020. The goal of this new research project is concerning to the development of new metallic coatings, using emerging technologies of research (artificial intelligence, and analytics tools) and novel deposition procedures. Coating compositions to be evaluated are the so called high entropy alloys, materials receiving a lot of attention due to their attractive mechanical and anticorrosive properties, composed by similar atomic proportions of about five elements, and relatively easy of obtain by additive manufacturing processes.

The energy industry after the quarantine

The International Energy Agency has published a report talking about how the crisis has affected the energy industry. Some of the more outstanding key findings of the study, include:

*Energy investment is set to fall by one-fifth in 2020.

*Investment activity has been disrupted by lockdowns but also by a sharp fall in oil revenues.

*The current situation have turned into the largest fall in global energy investment on record.

*The crisis has underscored existing vulnerabilities and created new uncertainties or new challenges.

*Investment trends are no in agreement with its huge responsibility in front of a more sustainable industry.

*Equipment, plants, and facilities must be retired. Their renewal is an interesting opportunity to a plenty introduction into the new industrial revolution, and to move to a more resilient, secure and sustainable sector.


Project Assessment Coordinator - Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

Idaho National Laboratory is seeking for eligible people fulfilling the requirements associated to its full-time position in charge of providing planning and development guidance of the projects on energy, national security, science and environment, which are developed by the INL.

Assistant Professor - Structural Risk and Reliability for Multi-Hazards - Civil and Environmental Engineering - Berkeley, California, USA

The Department of Civil engineering of the University of California, Berkeley, is seeking for an assistant professor mainly devoted to the subjects of risk, reliability, and resilience of structural materials applied to Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Ph.D. Scholarships

A partnership between the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), the TWI, and the Coventry University, founded by the Lloyd's Register Group, offers several PhD studentships to develop research on development of laser-based decontamination techniques, investigation of reheated weld metal microstructure as a function of feedstock chemistry, and prediction of fatigue limit of additive manufactured materials.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

Materials Science and Engineering Congress (MSE) - Virtual

September 22 to 25, 2020, organized by the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, Germany.

Composites and Advanced Materials Expo 2020 - CAMX - Virtual

September 21 to 24, 2020. Created AND supported by the American Composites Manufacturing Association and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering.

Microbiological Corrosion in Oil & Gas Industry - Virtual

Educational Virtual Training Course. September 25-26, 2020. Offered by the Indian Section of NACE International.