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Inspectioneering Journal

Proven Strategies for Developing Successful Corrosion Management Systems

By Rick Eckert at DNV GL - North America Oil & Gas, and Gerry Koch at DNV GL. This article appears in the September/October 2018 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

Introduction

Corrosion control practices are generally well-understood by the majority of industries that contend with different corrosion degradation mechanisms. The most essential technical activities in the practice of corrosion control include:

  1. Assessing the applicable corrosion threat mechanisms
  2. Selecting and applying appropriate prevention and mitigation control measures
  3. Monitoring equipment and conditions to determine whether the control measures are effective or whether adjustments are required

To help asset owners with corrosion control, the products for chemical treatment, corrosion-resistant materials, protective coatings and linings, inspection, online monitoring, cathodic protection, and corrosion consulting expertise, etc. are readily available. Given that most asset owners have access to information and expertise about corrosion damage mechanisms and their means of prevention, why then do corrosion leaks, failures and accidents continue to occur, and infrastructure continues to be lost due to corrosion?

One important reason society continues to witness corrosion degradation and the resulting health, safety, economic and environmental consequences is that corrosion control knowledge is not applied effectively. While there are a multitude of reasons why corrosion knowledge may not be effectively implemented (e.g., lack of resources, pressures to address higher priorities, business short-sightedness, etc.), in nearly all cases, development and implementation of a corrosion management system (CMS) can help optimize the use of corrosion control resources and produce more favorable business outcomes. This article discusses the origins of the CMS concept and outlines the elements of a typical corrosion management system framework that asset owners can build upon for their own programs. The framework is scalable and adaptable to any type of asset management.

Management Systems

Starting down the path towards developing a CMS first requires realization by an organization’s leadership that corrosion control is not synonymous with corrosion management. Simply put, corrosion management employs the elements of a management system to ensure that essential corrosion control activities are carried out in an effective, sustainable, well-planned and properly executed manner. Thus, it is worthwhile to first understand the nature of a management system, as this is a term that is often underappreciated and overgeneralized.

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