A quick look at the industry news section of corrosion authority NACE’s website shows items listing pipe ruptures (and resulting product spills) and corroded bridge structures where public safety is a critical concern.

According to the World Corrosion Organisation, the worldwide direct cost of corrosion is between €1.3-1.4 trillion, or 3.1-3.5% of a nation’s GDP. And these numbers reflect only the direct cost of corrosion – materials, equipment and services involved in repair, maintenance and replacement; they do not take account of the environmental damage, waste of resources, loss of production, or personal injury resulting from the corrosion.

Corrosion experts believe that 20-25% of that annual cost could be saved by applying currently available corrosion control technologies, including materials development and selection.

Corrosion resistance is one of the key benefits of composites. For industries which deal with chemicals and other corrosive substances, pipes, tanks and other process equipment made from composites can offer low maintenance requirements and longer service life.

A feature in the July/August issue of Reinforced Plastics reports that growing demand for corrosion resistant materials in many industries, combined with higher prices for corrosion resistant metals and alloys, are some of the factors currently favouring composites, however educating engineers and end-users who have more experience with metals is still going to be an issue for the longer term.