"Rust never sleeps." Neil Young

Corrosion: Defining The Problem

Corrosion caused the roof of a spent sulfuric acid storage tank to have perforations that allowed sparks from a hot steel burning operation to enter the tank and ignite the flammable vapors present. The resulting explosion blew the tank off its foundation and released a large quantity of spent sulfuric acid onto the ground. The welder performing the cutting operation was killed. This failure could have been foreseen and prevented with modern techniques of inspection and monitoring.

Corrosion is a natural degradation process that occurs whenever metals are exposed to liquid water. The damage that occurs has been estimated to cost the United States economy upwards of $276 billion in 2000 in a study by CC Technologies. This represents 3.1% of the GDP for that year. However, the damage has a variety of impacts on our lives that are not adequately expressed in dollars alone. Corrosion damage causes injuries, fatalities, unexpected loss of production, environmental damage from release of dangerous substances, premature retirement of capital equipment, inability to operate plants at design rates and a variety of other problems. In most cases, the corrosion damage responsible for these problems is preventable, and a number of proven technologies are available for this purpose. The field of materials engineering has been developed to deal with corrosion and other materials degradation processes.

Dean Corrosion Technology, Inc

Dean Corrosion Technology, Inc. has been in business since June 2001 providing expert advice to clients on a variety of materials engineering issues. Dr. Sheldon W. Dean, President, has over 40 years of professional

experience dealing with corrosion and other materials degradation processes (click on “About DCT" for more information). Several of the interesting projects and cases Dean Corrosion Technology has been involved with include one in which DCT provided assistance in preparing the technical case for a legal action against a supplier who provided defective pressure vessels. Other examples include:

DCT assisted in evaluating the materials of construction for a chemical plant in a case where the customer wanted assurance that the materials chosen were adequate for the service. In another case the firm evaluated a corrosion failure in a natural gas production facility to determine the root cause of the failure and possible approaches for preventing future problems. In still another case, an evaluation of the severity of synthesis gas in causing metal dusting was carried out to help in understanding the results of laboratory experiments on this phenomenon.

Dr. Dean (on the left) inspects samples of materials for corrosion.

Dean Corrosion Technology, Inc. stands ready to help you with materials selection for your designs, operating problems or dealing with failure analyses. Dr. Dean also has experience as an expert witness and has testified in several cases.

"Better to wear out than to rust out." Bishop Cumberland (1632-1718)

Dean Corrosion Technology

Dr. Sheldon W. Dean, President
(610) 558-1293 or (610) 428-5602