Additional Services Offered
We have been involved with chemical treatment and corrosion control since 1981, ultrasonic testing and corrosion monitoring since 1994, and the manufacture and distribution of our exclusive CorrView corrosion monitor since 2005.
Such first-hand involvement in the various fields related to corrosion at HVAC piping and fire protection systems over the past 30 years has provided to us valuable information related to what works and what does not. Reasonable and proven solutions to a problem, vs. unrealistic expectations from unproven technology. And of course – a clear understanding to the underlying cause of much of today’s corrosion problems. A large volume of that information is provided on this site as an aid to others.
We do not offer, broker, or sub-contract the below services, but have had first hand experience with the technology, with those providing such technology, and can attest to their effectiveness. Please contact CorrView International should you have an interest in any specialty and we will provide further direct contact information.
Our new Business Directory offers various products and services related to the HVAC and corrosion related fields.
External Pipe Coatings and Rehabilitation Services
In most cases where the pipe is accessible, there is arguably no excuse for an outer pipe corrosion problem other than a lack of maintenance. While repairs are often extensive and costly, they are at least possible to directly address – unlike internal pipe corrosion.
Common commercial paints are generally inadequate; thereby requiring both specialty coating products. Possibly more important to the selection of the coating is surface preparation to white metal standards through sand blasting.
Available are contract services to rehabilitate the exterior of most piping systems and metal structures through effective rust removal and the application of specialty coatings.
High quality specialty coating products are also widely availale for in-house application. Suitable for outdoor weathering problems, corrosion under insulation (CUI), and any form of metal corrosion protection.
With the generally higher level of corrosion activity at most HVAC piping systems, effective water filtration is no longer an option, and more of a necessity to good corrosion control and long system life.
Available are a wide variety of filtration products from simple single cell basket units to multicell units, centrifugal units, and sand filters to full flow automatic backwashing filtration.
With the larger and automatic units commanding a high cost, and smaller units often inadequate in terms of water flow or capture capacity, defining the extent of a corrosion concern is a best first step.
For all forms of water filtration, improper installation is extremely common – thereby reducing its effectiveness in solving the corrosion problem which it was originally intended.
Over 95% of all water filtration units we see are limited in their effectiveness by where they have been installed in the system. For many, the take-off to the filter is in the worst of all possible locations – thereby nearly eliminating its planned benefit.
Refrigeration Chiller Tube Coating
This is an excellent cost-effective alternative to chiller tube replacement. The tubes are lightly sand blasted to a white metal finish and then coated with various epoxy materials dependent upon application. Suitable for some shell and tube type heat exchangers as well.
This process does not add any heat transfer loss, and will typically offer near 20 years of additional service life by stopping further corrosion activity. Ideal for enhanced rifled tubes which have such higher vulnerability to corrosion and deposits.
Laboratory Metallurgical Testing
This is a near necessity where the corrosion mechanism is unknown, and often influences what response to a corrosion problem is provided. Ideally suited where the failed example of pipe, having all the answers to why it failed, has been saved.
Rule # 1 for any pipe failure – Do not throw away the damaged pipe.
Properly performed to sufficient depth, metallurgical testing will identify the underlying cause of the pipe corrosion or failure problem. Excellent for confirming ASTM grade, weld integrity, galvanized finish thickness and bond, MIC conditions, cell corrosion attack, erosion, galvanic attack, dezincification of brass, and many other destructive corrosion events.
The downside is the need to isolate and drain the system to allow pipe sections to be cut out and replacement sections installed – work typically costing far more than the metallurgical lab fees themselves.
Performing an ultrasonic analysis of a piping system is a recommended first step to any metallurgical investigation in order to direct attention to the most appropriate area – rather than relying on random selection and chance.
Heat Exchanger Cleaning
Plate and frame heat exchangers are finding much wider use, both for free cooling and to isolate critical condenser water systems from the more corrosive atmospheric influences of open systems. Most are efficient enough to provide only a few degrees of temperature differential.
After years of operation under even the best low corrosion conditions, most require disassembly and cleaning in order to restore their heat transfer efficiency to factory low specifications. Under higher corrosion conditions, frequent cleaning will be required. Unnecessary energy loss is the result where maintenance is lacking.
Pipe Relining and Coating
A corrosion problem can be discovered at various stages of severity. At its midpoint between having destroyed the entire piping system and where still acceptable wall thickness remains, rehabilitating the pipe offers a very cost-effective solution.
Various forms of relining are available, with all requiring thorough and effective pipe surface preparation by either high pressure water jet or sand blasting. As such, its applicability and success is greatly dependent upon the piping layout itself and all associated factors such as size, pipe diameter, construction, material, etc. Major preparations and entry points into the system are required.
High Pressure Water Jet Cleaning
Removing internal pipe deposits are an absolute first step to stopping or controlling a high corrosion condition. We consider it virtually impossible to address any high corrosion problem through chemical treatment changes, filtration, or any other step unless the internal rust deposits are first removed.
While acids and chelating agents work well for less heavily contaminated systems, and are today well inhibited against attacking the pipe itself, they are often inadequate for heavily fouled systems having potentially thousands of pounds of corrosion product strongly attached.
High pressure water jet at about 15,000 PSI will strip virtually all iron oxide rust deposits and tuberculation from the pipe quickly and safely, and again expose the bare pipe surface to the chemical corrosion inhibitors required to slow the corrosion process.
Once again, its use is highly dependent upon piping layout and size, the complexity of the piping design, availability to shut down, access points, and many other factors requiring advance and very detailed planning.
We have worked closely with some outstanding mechanical engineering firms, mostly in the New York City area, but also throughout the United States. Please contact us for referrals in the area of interest.
Underground Pipe Leak Detection
Presumably, steel HVAC pipe placed underground would have been protected from water and the environment by a strong outer protective coating, Ric-Wil casing, hard jacket, or some form of barrier system. In reality, we often find poor protection applied to this critical and most vulnerable area and therefore a second corrosion front.
Where a pipe leak occurs underground, and is not of sufficient volume to make its location known through to the ground surface, a specialized form of ultrasonic testing allows nearly pinpoint location of the leak.
Pressure is required within the piping system and access available to both ends of the pipe. Ultrasound transmitters establish a sound echo pattern which is interrupted at the source of the leak. An extremely useful diagnostic tool with inherent limitations.
Microbiological DNA Identification
Microbiological agents are commonly involved in many corrosion problems, whether recognized or not. Most frequently suspected at condenser water and fire protection systems, an accurate identification of the infectious agent(s) can be elusive.
Dip slide kits to produce rough cell colony counts will provide a representative number suggesting the level of bacterial infection, but not its identification. Often, more detailed analysis will produce a false identification entirely – thereby shifting a corrosion control response into the wrong direction. Some lab reports we have seen are worthless.
Where fresh and viable deposit samples are not available, itself a common event, standard plate culturing may not be possible. For anerobic bacteria commonly
Precise identification of genus and species, however, can be performed at live or dead sample material using DNA. DNA testing is relatively inexpensive considering the level of identification provided.
The Leading Cause Of Pipe Failure At Condenser Water Systems
Despite various corrective measure, advanced failures at condenser water systems are on the rise. Many problems are engineered into the system from the start due to the failure to recognize the impact rust deposits and particulates have on producing higher secondary corrosion levels. In addition, most corrective measure, if they are attempted, fail to provide a solution. Here is why.
Undersized Steel Pipe
A Simple Dial Caliper Measurement Of New Steel Pipe May Reveal Surprising Results
In addition to the many corrosion influences negatively impacting piping systems, many new building properties are constructed using carbon steel pipe which is below factory specification. To the surprise of many, an FM or UL approval, like its ASTM stamp, does not define that the pipe actually meets ASTM thickness standards.
The Decline In The Quality Of Today’s Piping Products Means Greater Corrosion Problems
A large number of negative influences have comined to produce a higher frequency of corrosion problems – often in spite of all precautionary measures taken. Of those, lower quality pipe, undersized pipe, more complex piping layouts, and generally less effective chemical treatment options have produced a “Perfect Storm” contributing to more piping failures.
When Pipe Corrosion At A Fire Protection System Can Cost Lives
The time to learn of a fire pipe corrosion problem is not during an actual fire emergency. Internal rust deposits can, and have, totally blocked water flow through the sprinkler heads – resulting in the loss of human life. More common at dry systems, internal deposits are a serious threat to all fire protection systems.
Fire System Failures
Major Misconceptions Within The Fire Protection Industry
Ignoring the obvious does have serious consequences when it comes to fire protection systems. From the use of thin wall schedule 10 & 7 pipe, to lower quality pipe products, to frequent flow testing which brings in new fresh water, clear and well documented reasons exist to explain the higher corrosion activity found at today’s fire protection systems.
Fire System Corrosion
The Threat Of A High Corrosion Condition To A Fire Sprinkler Line
Often viewed only in terms of water damage in the case of a corrosion induced pipe failure, far more serious concerns exist, although rarely considered. Unlike HVAC piping systems, corrosion activity at fire related piping can impede and in some cases totally block water flow – a potentially life threatening condition during any fire emergency
The Benefits of Ultrasonic Testing in Determining Corrosion Rate and Service Life
Ultrasonic testing provides the most comprehensive, accurate, and cost-effective tool to assess the condition and remaining service life of any piping system. Planned and performed properly, ultrasound offers the first step toward identifying a potential corrosion problem, or for certifying a piping system as fit for service.
Why Not All Pipe Failures Are The Fault Of Your Chemical Water Treatment Provider
Various design elements to any piping system can have dramatic impact upon its corrosion activity. Pipe origin, schedule used, physical layout, and many other unknown factors can produce a pipe failure. And yet they are completely beyond the realm of protection offered by chemical water treatment.
Corrosion By Design
Pipe Corrosion Problems No Water Treatment Program Can Protect Against
Various changes have occurred to mechanical piping designs over the past few decades, with virtually all HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection systems having been affected in some way. Many changes relate to the materials themselves. Major changes in piping design, however, have introduced new corrosion problems no chemical treatment program can stop.
The Benefits and Limitations of Corrosion Coupons
Relied upon for decades as an indicator of corrosion activity within piping systems, corrosion coupons are highly unreliable in most examples, and totally worthless in others. Many of the most damaging corrosion failures have occurred while at the same time corrosion coupons produced excellent results. Here is why.
If Corrosion Activity Is Only 0.4 MPY, What Is Wrong With The Above Picture?
Corrosion coupons reported a 0.4 MPY corrosion rate for 6 years where the actual rate exceeded 25 MPY. Believed implicitly in contrast to multiple leaks and failures, the slow but total destruction of the entire condenser water piping system was the net result. A case history illustrating the threat from relying exclusively upon this highly flawed testing method.
Dry Fire Sprinkler
Fire Protection Contractor – Antifreeze: The Fine Line Between Hero and Defendant
Antifreeze used in dry fire sprinkler systems may solve one problem, but has also proven deadly. Rated a Class 1 flammable liquid, antifreeze can accelerate a fire, create a fireball, and even cause an explosion. Although now restricted to lower concentrations, antifreeze still adds heat value to any fire and introduces new and unknown liability to any such system.
American Welding Society – Understanding Pipe Corrosion Problems
A piping system that satisfies service life demands, requires the recognition of piping design vulnerabilities, effective corrosion monitoring, and the adoption of corrective measurements. With corrosion related failures on the rise, and with generally lower quality pipe being installed, advanced planning and an awareness of potential threats becomes more important.
World Pipelines – Investigation vs. Procedure
Substantially different findings are likely where ultrasonic pipe testing is approached as a forensic investigation based upon known system problems and vulnerabilities, rather than simply a linear based measurement procedure. A critical importance is understanding the inherent corrosion related problems to various piping systems. An adapting investigation will also produce a more definitive answer to any piping problem.
Fire Pipe Corrosion
Fire Protection Contractor – When Pipe Corrosion In a Fire Protection System Can Cost Lives
The time to first learn of a pipe corrosion problem is not during a true fire emergency when lives are in jeopardy. Thinner pipe, more corrosive steel, lower quality galvanizing, foreign pipe, dry systems, MIC – all such negative factors are driving toward higher internal corrosion deposits to render your fire protection system worthless.
Fluid Handling Systems – Finding The Remaining Service Life
Ultrasonic testing is, by far, the most informative diagnostic method available for determining pipe status, as well as extremely cost effective. An effective piping analysis is much more than a spreadsheet of a few wall thickness measurements – requiring careful statistical analysis and practical interpretation of the data.
World Pipelines – Multiple Metering And Monitoring Needs
With no single form of corrosion monitoring capable of proving full coverage to the many different forms of pipe corrosion possible, multiple testing methods are always advised. These should include ultrasonic testing, spool pieces, LPR, regular internal inspection, and a close observance to the often obvious but missed signs of a problem.
A 30+ Year Knowledge Base
Unfortunately, the above is a very common progression of events for many of our clients. Often, greater attention to chemical corrosion control and corrosion monitoring could have saved the system and avoided the problem. In others, a decades prior design flaw or poor choice of pipe supplier may be traced back as the primary fault.
During the 20 years that we have been involved in the field of ultrasonic pipe testing / corrosion monitoring, we have authored various Technical Bulletins for the benefit of our clients. These Technical Bulletins address frequent problem issues to any building owner or operator, and offer both insight as well as reasonable and proven solutions.
We offer below the various categories available, and continue to add new bulletins as time permits.
Interior Rust Deposits, Common Threats, Corrosion Types, Winter Lay-Up, MIC, Corrosion Monitoring and Testing, CUI, Corrosion Coupon Failures, Rust Removal, Reducing Corrosion Threats, Roof Level Corrosion, Drained Pipe, Corrosion Trends, Fire Sprinkler Corrosion, Corrosion At “Free Cooling” Systems
The Impact Of Flow Rate To Higher Corrosion, Inadequate Water Filtration, Piping Layout Design, “Green” Piping Designs
Corrosion Threats, Design Misconceptions, Interior Rust Deposit Threat, Dry Fire System Corrosion, Schedule 10 Pipe, Premature Failures, Clogged Fire Systems, Chemical Control Options, Remediation Choices
Condition Assessment, Due Diligence, Preparation Prior To Renovation, System Evaluation, Expert Witness
Heat Exchangers, Benefits of UT Testing, High Pressure Water Jet Cleaning, Filtration Errors, Chemical Treatment, Condenser Tube Coating, Mold Concerns, Chromate Removal, Growing Threat of Corrosion, Heat Exchanger Tub Coating, Nondestructive Testing
Schedule 40 Limitations, Piping Trends, Hidden Corrosion Threats, Dielectric Insulators, Clamped Grooved Piping, Piping Schedules, Pipe Testing Specification, Roof Pipe Draining, Low Corrosion Guidelines, Dual Temperature Piping Failure
Cold Water Threats, External Corrosion Issues, Fire Reserve Tanks, Interior Pitting, Protective Coatings, Rehabilitation
Improving Heat Transfer Efficiency, Improving Filtering Efficiency, Filter Placement, Poor Performance Causes, Filter Selection Considerations
Chemical Treatment Challenges, Limitations to Water Treatment, Corrosion Coupon Reliance