As part of Wheatland’s initiative to educate our customers on our products and processes, we have developed this Q&A resource to help you to understand what corrosion protection is, the industry requirements and how Wheatland meets those requirements, and which those environments require special coatings for protection. We have enlisted our in-house expert, Mike Ziegler, product development, coatings and quality, to answer a few questions about this subject.
Q: In the steel pipe world, what does corrosion protection mean?
A: Basically, the idea of corrosion protection in our industry comes down to keeping the steel of the pipes from being converted to iron oxide (rust). The main way in which this is done is to coat the pipe with something that prevents that oxidation reaction from occurring. The two most common examples of this are galvanizing and painting.
Q: What are the industry requirements for corrosion protection?
A: Given the wide variety of end-markets that we support, that’s a complicated question to answer. For pipe products that go into electrical applications (e.g., conduit), there are a number of requirements maintained by organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These requirements detail the length of time that a pipe must be able to withstand being exposed to various corrosive environments without degradation. Other end-use areas — such as sprinkler pipe, gas transmission pipe, drill casings, drinking water piping and others — are also governed by various regulations that address the type of environments those pipes are likely to be exposed to as well as how long the pipe should be able to withstand those environments. For example, the industry requirement for corrosion resistance in electrical conduit is 600 hours of exposure to a saltwater mist without any visible red rust formation on the surface.