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Overview of Erosion Corrosion

Erosion Corrosion is a term that refers to the combined effect of erosion and corrosion on a metal surface which is caused by the rapid flow of any turbulent liquid through piping. The rate of erosion is dependant on the level of turbulence, with more turbulent liquid being more erosive. Turbulence in pipes is often caused by pitting and can result from poor craftsmanship in the pipes as burrs not removed during installation can cause localised turbulence which can lead to pitting.

This phenomenon occurs due to both the speed of a moving liquid, plus it’s own corrosive properties. It can eat through any protective layers before going on to damage the metal itself. Erosion corrosion is especially common in construction areas, those locations where there are blockages, inlet ends, pump impellers, and other areas where there are especially high rates of flow.

The are several ways in which erosion corrosion can be reduced. The most obvious way is to reduce the turbulence by streamlining the piping. One can also attempt to reduce the speed of the liquid, as slower liquid would cause less turbulence as well. Using corrosion inhibitors or cathodic protection can be a good way to protect the pipes. Reducing the amount of oxygen dissolved in the liquid will also help reduce erosion, as well adjusting its pH value.

It might be better though to attempt to prevent erosion before installation during manufacturing, rather than trying to reduce it afterwards. This can be done by accounting for and using corrosion resistant materials during the design and manufacturing stage. It’s also important to ensure that the entire piping system has been deburred before it has been put into operation, as burrs can cause localized turbulence. Moreover, ensure that the system has gentle rather than sharp angles will ensure there are fewer constrictions.

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