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Corrosion in power distribution: how to avoid it?

Corrosion can be an aesthetic issue, but there is a high chance that it will also negatively affect the performance of a device or power distribution assets. And when an asset fails, it also brings unplanned outages, delays, failures, risky maintenance operations and, in most cases, the need to replace the equipment.

We all have seen the corrosion process in daily life objects: cars, pipes, screws, fences… But it can also occur in power distribution equipment, especially in off-shore or nearshore locations, boosting the chances of causing catastrophic failures.

The World Corrosion Organization estimates the global cost of corrosion at $2.5 trillion dollars. Which means corrosion in utilities makes up for the larger part of annual industrial corrosion costs, namely 39.7%. By preventing corrosion, you are also directly improving the profitability of a company.

Corrosion concerns in the industry.

Based on a research on corrosion reduction in power distribution from Taylor, Mc Farland and Ellis -all members of the IEEE-, over 90% of people working in harsh environments in the Water/Wastewater, Oil & Gas, and Chemical industry had corrosion concerns. Out of those, more than 88% of them agreed that corrosion is a concern in their power distribution equipment, however roughly 72% preferred to address electrical maintenance issues in 3-5 year intervals.

Preventing corrosion is key. But how?

Epoxy coatings: these coatings are generally two-part curing systems that are mixed with a hardener before application. They are widely used in moderate corrosive environments and are often used for industrial applications. With time, epoxy coatings fade, crack and peel.

Alkyds: these are oil modified polyester paints. They are popular inexpensive architectural paints which are often chosen when a high gloss, versatility, and high durability is required, but not ideal for bigger structures and equipment. They do not adhere well to galvanised metals unless suitable primer-sealers are applied first. Their color fades and the coating cracks really quickly.

Urethanes: these are very versatile polymers with properties that can be tailored over a wide range for a large number of coating applications. Polyester-based urethane coatings have better oxidative stability and higher heat and abrasion resistance than polyether-based urethane coatings, but have lower hydrolytic stability and low-temperature flexibility. Moisture curing urethanes are frequently used in interior and exterior wood coatings whereas heat curing one-part urethanes are often chosen for more demanding coating applications, but they are always affected by UV rays.

Silicone coatings: Unlike epoxy and urethane resins, silicone is unaffected by ultraviolet. The silicone polymer-based elastomeric anti-corrosion coating remains flexible throughout its life, it withstands heat, humidity, chemicals, salt spray and ultra-violet abrasion due to sand. Silprocoat™ is a ready-to-use product that can be sprayed immediately after opening the pail and will last more than 10 years even in the most challenging environments.

Silicone coatings and the ease of implementation

Silprocoat is not only elastic and resistant to the harshest weather conditions, it’s also really easy to use. It can be applied by spray, roller or brush, there is no need to mix it, dries fast and no primer is necessary.

The impact

Corrosion impacts the safety, dependability, and costs of generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity and every other power distribution. It should be avoided and prevented. Although there are several ways to do it, silicone-based anticorrosion coatings have proven to be the most effective way within the electrical utilities, oil and gas, mining and chemical industries.