Corrosion affects almost every industry out there…
From automobiles exposed to toxic air – oil & gas equipment subjected to harsh chemicals and the effects of subsea salts and minerals – to metallic bridges that weather the storm one changing season after another.
In short, corrosion given enough time can wreak havoc when not under control.
How do you control it?
The answer is simple – anti-corrosion coatings.
So, how vital are these coatings? Do they work on all kinds of corrosion? How big is the anti-corrosion coatings market?
Read on to find out more…
Why is Anti-Corrosion Coating Important?
When any material corrodes, a complicated electrochemical process goes on inside it. Once corrosion sets in, due to the change the original material has undergone, reversing the damage is not really an option.
So, not tackling corrosion on time could lead to equipment and infrastructure failure.
This, in turn, could cost millions of dollars to companies, and when critical infrastructure goes down because of corrosion, utilities and services can stop.
Not to mention the harmful effects on the lives and health of the workers.
This means the best option is to prevent corrosion in the first place, and this is where Fluoropolymers have stepped up.
So, which types of corrosions do these fluoropolymers prevent?
Corrosion Types & Anti-Corrosion Coating Solutions
The effects of corrosion on a substance may vary depending on the source. This means coatings must be chosen to give the optimal result for the specific task.
Sea & Atmospheric Corrosion
What it is: Equipment used in oil & gas and offshore sites for the renewable energy sector are subjected to this kind of corrosion. For example, prolonged exposure to salt-water and other atmospheric factors can dramatically shorten the lives of fasteners and couplings.
High-grade stainless-steel alloys can be used to prevent corrosion, but this shoots up the manufacturing costs, meaning they aren’t the most economical solution to use on a large scale.
Solution: Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings are best for such corrosive agents as they not only prevent component failure and provide extra lubrication between moving parts. Applying PTFE coatings also reduces the manufacturing and maintenance costs.
Typically, PTFE is applied along with a primer and some other additives for improved performance, extra layers of protection, along with the addition of colours for easy identification of components.
What it is: Some industries use extremely harsh chemicals day-in and day-out. The chemical manufacturing industry and the metal fabrication industry lead the pack when it comes to the equipment being endangered by some of the most hazardous substances. Such equipment, needless to say, needs additional layers of protection from corrosion.
Solution: The harshness of chemicals demands that pure fluoropolymers be used to prevent corrosion. These fluoropolymers are perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) and fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP).
Because they are so pure, they are inert and work effectively against harsh chemicals. However, they require two or more layers of coating and must be combined with resins and lubricating additives depending on what the coated part is used for.
What it is: Imagine two different kinds of metals connected through an electrolyte (could be water or another liquid). The electrolyte in question makes a conductive path between the two metals. In such a setup, over time, one metal corrodes.
This process can be seen when generating power using batteries as well as other applications such as in mixed metal piping.
Solution: Typically, just a thin layer of PTFE coating is enough to stop the galvanic corrosion. However, there are benefits of adding resins and additives even when deterioration has occurred as the resin can prevent further decay until you have time to replace or repair the equipment.
Synthetic Product Corrosion
What it is: Many elements that you might not have considered as corrosives may surprise you. They may not look like they can do any damage, but over time, with repeated exposure, they could cause significant wear and tear to the material on which they deposit themselves. Such items include fumes, fuel, lubricants, and even food.
Solution: All kinds of fluoropolymers, namely, PTFE, FEP, and PFA can be used to protect synthetic corrosives. If atmospheric pressure and temperature aggravate the corrosion, multi-layer coatings can be beneficial.
The Anti-Corrosion Coatings Market
Considering that corrosion affects all industries, by and large, you’d assume the anti-corrosion coating market would be huge. Well, that’s a correct assumption.
According to a recent report by Global Market Insights, the market size of anti-corrosion coatings crossed $13 billion in 2020, and it’s expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2020, at a rate of 4.3%.
Major areas where such coatings will drive this increase are metal-based building & structures, military shipbuilding, and renewable energy.
Corrosion is a silent killer for components and must be tackled before the damage is done.
There is always a need to achieve more with less in any industry, and companies cannot afford to lose equipment and infrastructure to corrosion.
This is why Anti-corrosion coatings based on fluoropolymers have, in recent times, taken center stage to rage the war against corrosion.
And as you can see from the growing anti-corrosion coating market, these polymers are well-accepted among major industries and have successfully contained all major types of corrosion.
All you need is the combination of the right polymer, resins, and additives to slow down the disruptive power of corrosion and lower costs, save time and keep on top of Health & Safety in your industry.
If you have corrosion concerns and are looking for a preventative solution, please drop me an email at email@example.com, and I’d be happy to discuss your requirements in more detail.