Tag Archives: Anodes

Willamette Locks to Close due to Corrosion

Corrosion has forced the closure of the locks at Willamette Falls, and Congress doesn’t have the money to fix them. Diana Fredlund, with the Army Corps of Engineers says they’re not used often enough by commercial river traffic.

The federal government sank more than $2 million of stimulus money into attempts to salvage the 138-year-old series of locks that gave commercial and pleasure boats access around the 40-foot falls.

But corps officials say the anchors on three of seven gates are near failure, and there’s no money to fix them.

“The level of risk of something bad happening has reached the point where we cannot in good conscience continue operating those locks for any reason,” said Scott Clemans, a spokesman for the Corps’ Portland division.

The locks have been open on only a limited basis in recent years, but the closure will have an economic impact, for example 10-15 jobs at Wilsonville Concrete Products and Marine Industrial Construction.

Owner Dave Bernert’s family has operated tugboats and businesses moving material through the locks since the 1880s.

The closure, he said, strands two dredges, three tugboats and four barges in the upper portion of the river. It also cuts him off from his moorage site in Wilsonville, leaving him to look for alternatives downstream. The idled equipment means he’ll need fewer workers for his marine business.

About 75 people work full time for the companies. Bernert said he hopes to retrain laid-off workers for his concrete business.

“We’re going to do our best to make sure we don’t have to let anybody go,” he said. “But if we can’t work jobs with 20 percent of the equipment, we don’t need the people.”

The locks 25 miles south of the Willamette’s confluence with the Columbia are more than 3,500 feet long, with seven gates and four chambers that raise or lower vessels. They opened on Jan. 1, 1873, and had several owners. The government bought the infrastructure in 1915.

A report, completed last December, identified the anchors as a source of concern. Clemans said it wasn’t a surprise.

“We’ve known for years that the locks has a laundry list of issues,” said Clemans. “We’ve spent the money that Congress asked us to spend to do the things Congress has asked us to do. But that’s only a fraction of what’s needed to return the locks to full operational ability.”

Stopping Corrosion in our Harbors – Duluth/Superior Harbor

Every ship that passes under the Duluth/Superior harbor lift bridge is a sign of a healthy, working, international port. but for this to exist, requires steel. Nearly 14-miles of underwater metal.

Loading facilities, docks and shorelines, the shipping canals; the very foundation of industry here is built on an underwater steel infrastructure. But it’s corroding, and failing.

It’s falling victim to an aggressive form of fresh water corrosion.

Chad Scott is with an engineering company based in Superior. He first discovered the unique form of corrosion back in 1998 and brought it to the attention of the scientific community.

Today, his focus has turned to helping repair the harbor and protect it from further damage.

“There were a couple of projects in the harbor we were called to inspect that had already completely failed. They had gotten so thin and with the forces on them, the steel actually bent so you can’t repair it at that point,” Scott said.

Replacing all the steel in the harbor would be a monumental task, taking years and costing hundreds of millions of dollars. But does it all have to be replaced? Not necessarily, if the corrosion is caught early enough.

It also depends on individual docks. There are some docks that have actually commenced replacement projects and there are other ones that have gone through protective procedures.

Good news for the port, because it owns such a large amount of steel shoreline. Last summer they repaired this entire dock line, a $6 million fix.

From federal to local, that effort includes UMD’s Biology Department, and Dean Dr. Randall Hicks. Dr. Hicks says it’s a multi-agency battle because there are global implications.

“Corrosion is a major problem world-wide. it’s responsible for huge economic losses and there’s a lot of effort put in to try and prevent corrosion, even on your cars with better primers and paints. The problem is in a harbor you have steel that’s submerged and it’s very expensive to replace it or to mitigate the problem.”

Dr. Hicks said we are beginning to understand the problem. But in order to find real, long term solutions, additional research needs to be done. and research takes money.

“We are doing our best to gather as much information as we can so we can keep the study moving forward. But without additional funding it’s not going to go forward.”

The short term goal is to save the steel that can still be saved. Long term, researchers hope new alloys and materials will be developed for future construction that can stand up to this aggressive corrosion.

Divers have been measuring corrosion rates over the last two years, both in and outside the harbor. It’s research that may not only help us, but ports around the world.

SOURCE: http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/S2378127.shtml?cat=10335

Pipeline with Coating Degradation benefit from Deep Well Anode Solution

MATCOR Mini-Deep Anode
The MATCOR Mini-Deep Anode will protect the system for 20 years or more

An International Petrochemical Company contracted with MATCOR to review assessment data gathered more than 10 years earlier.  MATCOR’s initial findings showed the existing Cathodic Protection System was struggling to maintain criteria.  To determine the exact cause of the problems MATCOR launched a comprehensive survey of 20 miles of 26 inch pipeline.

From the initial review of the pipeline, it became clear that the existing Cathodic Protection system did not have the capacity to distribute DC current effectively. MATCOR’s technicians performed Close Interval Surveys (CIS), Pipeline Current Mapping (PCM), and Direct Current Voltage Gradient (DCVG) surveys.  In addition, MATCOR took soil samples and had them analyzed, measuring pH, sulfates and sulfides, chlorides and moisture content.  The results corresponded with the smart pig runs, which further validated the testing and data analysis.  The survey revealed significant coating degradation.

It was clear from the current requirement test results that a new Cathodic Protection System was necessary.  The client’s choice was MATCOR’s patented Mini-Deep Anode System, which is very easily installed without disruption to the pipeline.

In all, 15 Mini-Deep Anodes were used to protect 40-plus miles of pipeline and connecting laterals.

MATCOR strategically placed ground beds approximately one mile east and west of the rectifiers.  On a new pipeline, each MATCOR Mini-Deep Anode can protect many miles of line, but since these pipelines experienced coating degradation, MATCOR designed the system to protect the existing lines from low structure to electrolyte potentials.

Upon completion of the testing and commissioning of the rectifier and ground bed system, this pipeline system, with associated laterals, was able to achieve -850mV OFF potential throughout its entire length.

The client was concerned that the 100mV criterion would have to be used in certain areas due to poor coating conditions; however, this was not the case.  MATCOR achieved complete integrity by incorporating the correct combination of engineering, design, and cooperation from the client.

The Mini-Deep Anodes will protect the system for 20 years or more.

Galveston’s tall ship Elissa no longer seaworthy…corrosion issue

GALVESTON, Texas — The official tall ship of Texas is in trouble.

The iron and steel bottom of the three-masted 1877 Elissa is nearly rusted through in places, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to declare that the vessel is not seaworthy.

Officials at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston where the Elissa is berthed were astonished when a Coast Guard inspection earlier this year revealed the rotten hull.

The tall ship is inspected twice every five years, said John Schaumburg, museum assistant director. The latest inspection uncovered the worst rot since the tall ship was rebuilt in 1982, he said.

Very little corrosion was discovered during the previous dry dock in 2008, prompting surprise that the bottom could have deteriorated so quickly, Schaumburg said.

“Everyone’s jaw just dropped,” said Ed Green, one of about 100 volunteer crew members from Houston. About half of the volunteers are from Houston, as are most of the ship’s visitors, Schaumburg said.

No one knows for sure what caused the rapid deterioration, but officials suspect that Hurricane Ike might be the culprit. Elissa rode out the September 2008 storm at a special mooring designed for violent storms, losing a sail, a spar and suffering some other minor damage.

The worst damage was unseen, Schaumburg said. Sea water eats into any metal, so 15 zinc “anodes” are fastened to the hull to draw off the corrosion. Naturally occurring electrical currents draw the corrosion to the anodes, Schaumburg explained.

Officials believe that an electric current, possibly caused by an electric line dislodged by the storm, may have caused the rapid erosion, he said.

The series of inspections were conducted at the Bollinger Texas City LP ship yard. Enough repair was done to allow the Elissa to sail back to Galveston, where it will remain until it celebrates the 30th anniversary of its reconstruction at a Greek shipyard.

By then the museum hopes to have raised $3 million to replace the hull as well as do a long overdue replacement of the fir deck and deck furniture, such as the companionway and skylight.

Schaumburg said officials won’t know until refitting begins whether the entire hull below water will need replacement or only the 54 corroded steel plates, each 4 feet by 10-12 feet. If all goes according to plan, the Elissa will be sailing again in 2012, he said.

The museum is negotiating with a professional fundraiser and has established a system that allows $10 donations to be made by texting 50555.

Green, a 7-year volunteer, said it is vital that the Elissa keep sailing.

“The Elissa is indicative of the types of ships that brought commerce to Galveston and to Texas,” Green said. “I think it’s important to keep that part of history for everyone to see it.”

SOURCE: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7650327.html

MATCOR Announces Next Generation Connection Technology for its Mixed Metal Oxide Products

Kynex Connection From MATCOR
MATCOR, Inc. a full-service provider of proprietary and proven cathodic protection systems and solutions, today announced the introduction of a new connection technology known as “Kynex™

Doylestown, PA (July 5) – MATCOR, Inc. a full-service provider of proprietary and proven cathodic protection systems and solutions, today announced the introduction of a new connection technology known as “Kynex™”, and MATCOR will begin manufacturing its signature Linear Anodes and Deep Well Anode Systems with this next generation patent-pending connection technology.

Cathodic protection experts agree the connection of any linear anode product is the weakest link in an anode system’s integrity. In some instances, cable connection failures result in rapid and catastrophic failure of the anode before it has reached the end of its useful life, many times resulting in assets that are not being protected against corrosion.

While the existing MATCOR connections are engineered to last and have an outstanding performance history, MATCOR responded to the needs of the corrosion and cathodic protection industry to eliminate the weakest link issue altogether. As a result and after years of development, MATCOR introduces Kynex™, a significant improvement to the existing manual anode to cable connection market.

The new Kynex™ technology utilizes computer-controlled manufacturing equipment that provides consistent, quality, and reliability that simply cannot be achieved by any manual method.

“Kynex™ is another example of MATCOR’s drive to lead the cathodic protection industry with 21st century tools – we’ve taken the steps to make the world’s best cathodic protection products even better,” said Jeff Stello, MATCOR’s President & CEO.

Over the years, MATCOR has become known for introducing groundbreaking cathodic protection products.  Kynex™ continues this trend.

William Schutt, MATCOR’s Chairman explains, “We have continued what we do best, innovate and develop technical excellence for the corrosion industry to benefit the clients we serve.”

Kynex™ utilizes advanced injection molding technology to mold Kynar™ around the anode to cable connection.  The process is carefully calibrated and monitored during the manufacturing process to ensure a consistent, repeatable connection.  The result is a robust connection that is more reliable than today’s manually-made connections. “With Kynex, we are replacing manual assembly with sophisticated automated assembly.   We are moving from the buggy whip era to the aerospace era,” said Ted Huck, MATCOR’s Vice President of International Sales & Marketing.

The Kynex™ technology is the first connection of its kind, and is expected to be widely adopted as the new standard for connection technology.

For more information about Kynex™  visit: http://www.matcor.com/kynex