Cost of Corrosion
The cost of corrosion on Australia’s assets is estimated to be $32 billion which roughly corresponds to 2 – 3% of the national GDP. Given the relevance of corrosion in the nation’s infrastructure, the Australasian Corrosion Association (ACA) holds its Corrosion & Prevention conference every year, which gathers asset owners, industry experts, corrosion professionals and suppliers to discuss and share knowledge on corrosion prevention and mitigation.
This year, ATTAR consulting engineers Dr Margarita Vargas and Dr Darren Cram presented at the conference held in Melbourne.
Dr Margarita Vargas spoke about the complex mechanisms by which sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) influences the corrosion of duplex stainless steels used in aggressive marine environments.
Dr Darren Cram spoke about the corrosion mechanisms on high voltage transmission powerlines and how to detect and monitor corrosion at its early stages by an eddy current system known as OHLCD (Over Headline Corrosion Detection).
The conference itself was opened by the Hon. Martin Pakula, the minister for Jobs, Innovation & Trade, who spoke about future growth in infrastructure and the need to ensure it can be maintained for years to come.
Following tradition of previous conferences, the opening was made official by the starting of the Ed Potter clock. This clock uses no ordinary batteries, but is switched on by a galvanic cell formed by the electrical connection of a copper plate to a magnesium alloy immersed in salty water electrolyte. The voltage produced by this setup is similar to that of a AA battery and shows the mechanism and driving force of galvanic corrosion in action.
Ed Potter Clock Galvanic cell providing the clock power
Between all the talks, trade stalls and networking, the conference also held several functions including the young corrosion event for the younger generation of corrosion engineers (open to all young at heart) and the ACA Annual Awards which celebrate the achievements of the corrosion industry in Australia. ATTAR looks forward to continuing collaboration with the ACA, several industry partners in the assessment, prevention and mitigation of corrosion related failures.