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Overview of Microbiologically Induced Corrosion (MIC)

Microbiologically Induced Corrosion (MIC) is an insidious condition caused by biological growth, typically bacteria, algae, or fungi, in water under low flow or stagnant conditions. One reason it is such a problem is that MIC can eat through a pipe or tube in a matter of weeks, or even days, if equipment is left with stagnant, untreated water in it. MIC has been found in cooling water systems, piping, vessels, and storage tanks, and typically manifests itself as pits, with subsurface "caverns" that are larger that the pitted opening at the surface. Aluminum, 300 series SS's, brass, and carbon steels are especially vulnerable to MIC. In order to prevent MIC, operators should take proper measures to treat water systems with biocides in order to kill the organic compounds.

 

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