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Predictive Modeling of Corrosion-2.39

DOI: 10.1016/b978-044452787-5.00086-x
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


As our industrial and infrastructure systems (refineries, power plants, pipelines, etc.) age, there is a considerable economic incentive to avoid unscheduled outages and to extend operation beyond the design lifetime. The avoidance of unscheduled outages is of particular interest, because the failure of even a minor component can result in the complete shutdown of a facility. For example, the unscheduled shutdown of a 1000 MWe nuclear power plant due to the failure of a valve may cost the operator between $1 million and $3 million per day, depending upon the cost of replacement power and other factors. However, if component failures could be accurately predicted, maintenance could be performed during scheduled outages, the cost of which has already been built into the price of the product, thereby minimizing the economic impact of the failure. With regard to life extension, the successful extension of operation beyond the design life translates into enhanced profits and the avoidance of costly licensing and environmental impact assessments associated with the development and construction of a new facility. However, in this case as well, the key to successful operation is the ability to avoid unscheduled downtime and hence maintain continuity of production. However, eventually, the frequency and severity of unscheduled outages render continued operation uneconomic and, at that point, replacement of the facility becomes necessary. Corrosion is a major cause of component failure, and hence the occurrence of unscheduled downtime, in complex industrial systems. In particular, the various forms of localized corrosion, including pitting corrosion, crevice corrosion, stress corrosion cracking (SCC), and corrosion fatigue (to name the common forms), are particularly deleterious, because they frequently occur without any outward sign of accumulating damage and because they often result in sudden and catastrophic failures. Thus, the development of effective general and especially localized corrosion damage prediction technologies is essential for the successful avoidance of unscheduled downtime and for the successful implementation of life extension strategies.

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