Tag Archives: Rust

Coastal homeownership has its own challenges

OWNING A home on the coast shouldn’t be a lesson in dreams gone wrong.

For Wayne Higson, the coastal environment offered peace, serenity and a place to get away from it all – until corrosion, wind and water created a nightmare in vacation homeownership.

“People don’t really know how bad things can get until they own a home in this type of environment,” Higson said. “You realize there’s no Yellow Brick Road to follow to get help.”

Higson, 58, of Greenville, N.C., built his dream vacation home in Emerald Isle, N.C., and soon realized the standard construction materials were not faring well in the weather.

He got tired of replacing exterior lighting every few months, and major costs kept creeping up, including repairing the corroded air-conditioning unit.

“Most people don’t know it, but water can run uphill on the Outer Banks,” he said. “Those high winds and water in every direction mean it has to go somewhere.”

For his years of hassle, hardships and heartache, Higson documented his efforts in a recently published book, “Coastal Homeowners: The Complete Photo Guide to Coastal Maintenance” (DWH Publishing LLC, 2011).

The book has more than 300 color photos, each illustrating problems and solutions that promise to help save time and money. Chapter highlights include hardware fasteners and nails, doors and windows, exterior siding and trim, winterizing coastal homes and hurricane preparedness.

“People have to remember that no matter how pretty the day is outside, the weather is taking a toll on their house,” Higson said. “The best thing to do is be prepared and know how to handle maintenance.”

Higson, a general contractor, started his quest in 1992 when he built his vacation home. For more than 10 years he collected information and 4,000-plus photos documenting his work.

“You can go to the store and buy a toaster that comes with directions in different languages, but if you buy a million-dollar home, you are on your own,” Higson said. “That’s just not right.”

In addition to advice and helpful tips, Higson also created a list of 110 manufacturers who sell, use or create coastal-friendly products. Their contact information is included.

“It’s so important to address these issues before they become a problem,” said Dave Barber, who works with Carolina Casual Furniture in Point Harbor and Kellogg Supply in Manteo, both on the Outer Banks, and owns Willington Grill Co.. “Rust is what kills a grill. If people know that before they buy, then they can choose a superior product. This book will help homeowners be better informed.”

Higson said he is already working on a second edition. He has taken more photos and logged different problems that he hopes to highlight.

SOURCE: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/04/coastal-homeownership-has-its-own-challenges

Pipeline corrosion issues at Crystal Springs Reservoir requires underwater work

Coastside County Water District officials could spend about $125,000 for a dive team to fix corrosion problems that have closed off a pipeline at Crystal Springs Reservoir in California.

First discovered earlier this year, corrosion damage on the pipe equipment at Crystal Springs has caused a valve on the intake system to remain firmly shut, cutting off one conduit for the water district’s second largest source of water.

Water managers point out the district can still draw water using a second intake pipe at the reservoir, but parts on that pipe are also showing the same corrosion damage. They emphasize they need both pipes in working order to ensure the water source remains secure.

“If one failed, how far is the other one to go?” said water treatment plant supervisor Joe Guistino. “This is a critical water supply for the district under normal years.”

Half Moon Bay’s water district needs to look no further than the South Coast to see the importance of having well-maintained equipment. Last month, Pescadero lacked water for more than two days after its main water pump malfunctioned. The backup pump that was supposed to take over wasn’t activated until the town’s water supply was completely drained, causing a sudden water shortage that crippled the community.

Even in a worst-case scenario, Coastside water district officials say they would still be able to supply water for their customers in the Half Moon Bay area. The water district normally doesn’t need to draw from Crystal Springs Reservoir until the dry weather in the summer months begins to deplete other water sources. In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the district took more than 110 million gallons from the reservoir, approximately 16.5 percent of its total annual water supply. Despite the pipeline troubles, the utility drew more than 1 million gallons in July, all of which was used for irrigation at the Skylawn Memorial Park off Highway 92.

Water managers say the specific problems at Crystal Springs Reservoir are the pneumatic actuators on both water pipelines. One of the actuators has holes rusted through it, causing the device to perpetually close off an automated valve. The same equipment had corroded on the pipeline about 10 years ago and had to be replaced.

Finding new replacements would be one way to fix it, Guistino said, but that will require ordering a custom-made part from the manufacturer. Alternatively, the district could decide just to remove the actuators and leave the water pipe open.

Repairing the underwater pipes is a hazardous job that involves spelunking through plumbing tunnels under the lake. District staff used to access the tunnel system by riding a small basket 160 feet down a well shaft, but, today, safety concerns have led the district to hire outside professionals to handle any maintenance work.

Guistino estimated the water district could complete the repairs by next year.

SOURCE: http://www.hmbreview.com/news/ccwd-eyes-crystal-springs-repairs/article_ff5f5f42-df15-11e0-b34f-001cc4c002e0.html

Report warned over upgrade of ‘rusty’ pipeline

The fatalities and injuries resulting from fires at Mukuru Sinai slums caused by petroleum spillage continue to raise hard questions on decisions made by the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC).

In 2005, the management of KPC decided to expand the capacity of the Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline, ostensibly to meet growing demand for fuel products in Nairobi and further inland to western Kenya.

The firm went ahead to commit Sh7.8 billion (Approx. $82 million USD) in a project, that involved installing four new pump stations at various points on the path of the pipeline to increase pumping capacity.

The decision generated debate when it emerged that the management knew upgrading the pipeline was a waste of money because the facility had long been condemned as old and beyond its lifespan.

Responding to the Sinai incident on Monday, KPC Managing Director Selest Kilinda said the regrettable incident was caused by spillage of petroleum products on KPC’s by-pass line between Nairobi and Mombasa known as Line 1 and the Nairobi-Eldoret line called Line 4.

Last week in its Financial Journal, The Standard disclosed how the aging pipeline continues to pose danger to people living along its path besides contributing to the inefficiencies that still characterize transportation of petroleum products.

It said by the time the management was reaching a decision to undertake the upgrade, it was sitting on an internally commissioned — and paid for — report that showed the Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline was a disaster-in-waiting.

This is because the pipeline is old, had several internal and external corrosion as well as many defects and dents, and was generally in a pathetic state.

While the report by Pil Ltd prescribed short-term remedies for the pipeline, it was clear in its conclusion that the long-term solution was to build a new pipeline altogether instead of an upgrade.

The report disclosed that barely three years after the much publicized expansion, and a few months after the country was hit by the worst fuel crisis in years, the reality was emerging that the Government could have wasted taxpayers money in a project that was already condemned in as far as international standards are concerned. It quoted Energy PS, Patrick Nyoike as admitting that the pipeline is “very old” and in need of replacement.

“The Mombasa Nairobi pipeline is very old and is past its 25 years lifespan. We need a new pipeline latest by 2014,” he said, adding that despite the expansion the facility cannot meet the rising demand in Kenya and the region.

According to international standards, oil pipelines have a lifespan of between 25 to 30 years. By the time the plan to expand the pipeline was conceived sometime in 2006, the Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline was 28 years old

Thus, petroleum industry experts aver, the pipeline had exhausted its lifespan and the Government with the advice of KPC management back then made a major judgmental error in opting to expand its capacity instead of building a new pipeline altogether.

Dented pipeline

“Deciding to expand the pipeline was an irrational decision because the management knew the pipeline had served its purpose. KPC had even commissioned an assessment study of the pipeline but which it ignored in deciding to upgrade the line,” a petroleum industry expert told The Financial Journal.

The study dubbed “fitness-for-purpose assessment” undertaken by Pil, way back in 1999 returned the verdict akin to the fact that the pipeline was a disaster in waiting because the facility had over the years developed massive internal and external corrosion.

The pipeline also contained several dents and loss on the metals that were particularly acute on the first 100km from Mombasa.

According to the study, there were over four million features characteristic of internal corrosion, about 20,000 features characteristic of external corrosion, 293 features characteristic of manufacturing defects (both internal and external), 107 dents, 40 ferrous metal objects and 251 welded shell repairs.

“Spending close to Sh10 billion on just four pumps did not make economic sense at all, considering the Government is now saying it needs Sh27 billion to construct a new pipeline,” said the expert.

In late July, KPC lost Sh28 million from spilled fuel after a road construction grader destroyed the pipeline in Mariakani. A total of 300,000 litres of super petrol was spilled.

However, the report observed it appeared the Government is waking up to the reality that the Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline is a relic and should be replaced.

According to Nyoike, the Government plans to construct a new parallel pipeline from Mombasa to Nairobi at a cost of Sh27 billion to enhance supply efficiency and meet increasing demand.

The new pipeline covering a distance of 453 km would be 14 inches in diameter and should be completed by 2014.

SOURCE: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000042801&cid=4


Robins Air Force Base stresses old adage: ‘Rust not, want not’

Rust and corrosion are the mortal enemies of metal. They infiltrate, weaken and sap the usefulness.

And when those culprits attack Air Force aircraft, the effects can be devastating. That’s where the Air Force Corrosion Control Office comes in. The unit, stationed at Robins Air Force Base, is not staffed with caped crusaders, but it does have a cadre of well-schooled people armed with the latest information and techniques. Their job is to share that expertise throughout the Air Force.

“We work with corrosion managers at all the major commands,” reported Capt. Mary Gutierrez, lead corrosion engineer for the local office. “They, in turn, filter things down to the field units. But we also take questions from field units daily, so we try to interface with all of them.”

That interface is critical in today’s Air Force. Airmen are flying and maintaining the oldest fleet in Air Force history, with some aircraft in the fourth and fifth decade of service. With budget constraints preventing wholesale purchase of new systems, the corrosion prevention mission has assumed even greater importance.

The questions from the field are usually practical ones – questions about paints, primers, pretreatments, aircraft wash materials, solvents, plastic media blasting.

“A lot of the time it is questions about how they can do things faster and cheaper,” noted Senior Master Sgt. Scott Pagenkopf, the Air Force corrosion program manager. “We have the experience on almost anything out there.”

The 17-member office has virtually all the bases covered. Two senior non-commissioned officers have years of experience as aircraft maintainers. Half of the office is a contract employee staffed by retired senior enlisted members who spent their Air Force careers in corrosion control or structural maintenance. Engineers fill the remaining slots.

They have their hands full. A recent Defense Department study completed in 2009 showed that $5.4 billion are spent every year to prevent or correct corrosion on aircraft and missiles.

The current war in Southwest Asia is not making the job any easier. The sand, dust and salt air all take their toll.

“A study we did several years ago showed the sand over there to be more corrosive than the sand we find in our desert environment,” said Gutierrez. “The sand particles are much finer.”

The preferred sand-removal technique in the battle zone is vacuuming rather than washing. “If we mix that sand with water, it can create a worse corrosion environment,” she pointed out.

When aircraft return to the U.S., the process continues. “We ask that (maintainers) first clean out the aircraft as best they can before they wash it,” Gutierrez added. “We also ask that they wash the aircraft before they depart on deployment.”

The annual Air Force Corrosion Control Conference set for August 16-18 at the Museum of Aviation at Robins is a focal point for information exchange. It will draw more than 250 visitors from throughout the Defense Department and private industry along with some 70 exhibitors.

“We will also have an area for training that will help make the job easier and more streamlined for our field-level people,” Pagenkopf said. “The conference gives us a chance to get together with people in the field and show them what’s coming down the road.”

Devices to better probe the aircraft’s internal crevices and crannies will be one prominent subject at the three-day meeting. Maintainers in the field already have boroscopes that aid in the process. The latest innovation calls for developing different attachments to expand that capability.

“We’re trying to find one (attachment) that can vacuum out water, small debris as well as sand,” Gutierrez said. “We’re also trying to find other attachments that can remove corrosion or apply corrosion preventative compounds.”

Knowledge is power in the corrosion prevention business, particularly as aircraft age and the fighting environment proves hostile.

“That’s why we’ve been trying to find new technologies,” she stressed, “and making sure the best corrosion practices are spread around the Air Force.”

SOURCE: http://warnerrobinspatriot.com/bookmark/14911559-Robins-office-stresses-old-adage-‘Rust-not-want-not’

Gardiner structurally sound, experts say, after chunk smashes onto road

TORONTO: City crews will be examining sections of the Gardiner Expressway after a 4.5-kilogram chunk of concrete fell onto Lake Shore Blvd. W. earlier this week, hitting a guardrail and ricocheting into the road.

The slab, about four centimetres thick and over a meter long, was sloughed off the bottom of the elevated section, its steel reinforcing bars corroded by road salt.

No cars were hit and no one was injured. Two lanes of westbound traffic just east of Bathurst St. were temporarily closed.

The incident is the fourth in recent memory, but does not mean that drivers should steer clear of Lake Shore, city staff said.

“There really shouldn’t be any concern,” said Mike Laidlaw, Toronto’s acting manager of structures and expressways.

Aside from the dangers inherent in a chunk of concrete weighing almost as much as a bowling ball falling from the sky, the expressway itself is sound, experts say.

“The stuff on the outside, most of it could fall off without affecting the structural integrity,” said R. Doug Hooton, a civil engineering professor at the University of Toronto. “(The overpass) is not in danger of falling.”

Laidlaw said the city will be conducting extra inspections around the area. Toronto is also putting out a call for proposals from engineering firms for a complete inspection within two years.

City crews inspect the Gardiner yearly — “sounding” the concrete for unstable pieces and removing them with a hammer — and conduct visual inspections at least every six months.

“If they do see any areas of concern they’ll look after it immediately,” said Laidlaw.

In January 2007, a piece of concrete about the size of a basketball fell onto Lake Shore near York St. and narrowly missed hitting a car. A small piece fell near Spadina Ave. in February 1999 and near York St. in January 1997.

“It is a concern for anybody underneath of it,” said Laidlaw.

Hooton said the Gardiner was designed before Ontario began salting roads in the winter, so it wasn’t constructed to withstand the salt that seeps through the roadway and into the steel reinforcing bar.

The salt rusts the rebar which then expands, cracking the concrete and pushing the outer layer off. Repair work was done years ago to the road’s drainage system to prevent salt from seeping into the concrete.

“It’s not happening as much as it would have if they hadn’t done those repairs,” said Hooton.

Police said no one reported any damage to a vehicle and there were no injures.

By 3 p.m. Monday, city crews had cleared debris off the road and unblocked all westbound lanes on Lake Shore Blvd.

The incident called to mind a horrific accident in Quebec five years ago. Five people were killed when a 40-year-old Laval overpass fell onto a highway on Sept. 30, 2006, crushing several vehicles.

A year later, a commission report into the accident blamed shoddy workmanship, insufficient oversight and deficient maintenance.

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/1011934–gardiner-structurally-sound-experts-say-after-chunk-smashes-onto-road?bn=1