There are many types of corrosion that underground pipelines can experience:
- Erosion: This is the simplest type of corrosion and the most common cause for sewer infrastructure. A corrosive liquid flowing along a line wears away at the material, leaving grooves, gullies and general flow pattern on the material. This type of corrosion can cause a failure the fastest.
- Uniform Attack: A chemical or electrochemical reaction causes an overall thinning of the pipe material. This type of corrosion is easy to measure, as its estimated time of failure can be determined using simple chemical tests.
- Galvanic Corrosion: When two different types of metals meet, they can react and corrode when immersed in a corrosive or conductive liquid. Whichever metal is less corrosion-resistant begins to degrade faster than it otherwise would.
- Pitting: This type of corrosion is where small divots or holes form in the walls. Because of their small size, when located close together they can appear to be a rough sidewall. Pitting can be hard to spot because the holes are often covered by debris and corrosion products.
- Dealloying or Selective Leaching: Under certain circumstances, one element can be removed from an alloy. This is common with brass pipes where zinc is removed, leaving a weak copper pipe (Corrosion Doctors).
The faster you identify corrosion and erosion, the faster you can plan mitigation efforts.
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