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Overview of NACE SP0169

NACE SP0169, Control of External Corrosion on Underground or Submerged Metallic Piping Systems, is a standard published by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) in order to give criteria for preventing and maintaining control over corrosion in underground or submerged metallic piping systems or other metallic underground structures. It specifically covers piping systems and other structures made of steel, stainless steel, cast iron, ductile iron, copper, and aluminum; primarily those used in the transportation of oil, gas, water, and other fluids.

At exactly 60 pages long, NACE SP0169 also includes information on several other related topics such as:

  • Why corrosion control is needed in these systems;
  • Proper design of piping systems;
  • The importance of coatings;
  • The proper criteria, design, and installation of cathodic protection systems in underground piping systems;
  • The control of interference currents.

The standard also addresses maintenance of cathodic protection systems and how to keep external corrosion control records. General costs for maintaining service, corrosion control, and corrosion itself are addressed in the Appendixes B through D. On the other hand, this standard does not cover corrosion control methods that involve the injection of chemicals into the environment around the pipe, the use of electrically conductive coatings or of non-adhered polyethylene encasement on the pipe, which are covered under NACE Publication 10A292.

This standard was originally released in January of 1996 as NACE RP0169. It has had two revisions prior to it’s current 2013 revision, one in 2002 and another one in 2007.

Understanding and abiding by this standard is important for those involved in operating and maintaining piping systems, and is vital in keeping up in designing, implementing, and maintaining proper maintenance and care procedures for underground piping systems.

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