Do Coated Pipes Last Longer?

by Cory Allen, Corrosion Consultant; Birmingham, AL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 9, Pg. 59-61

Document Type: Feature article


Field studies have revealed that polymer coated steel pipe resists corrosion longer than pipe coated with other materials. Corrosion is the most common failure mechanism of pipe culvert, and it's particularly aggressive to the pipe invert, where drainage flows cause electrolytic attack and erosion. One of the most effective means of protecting corrugated steel pipe is applying an ethylene-acrylic acid copolymer film, which acts as a membrane, resisting penetration by water and other chemicals. The acrylic component helps the coating adhere chemically to the pipe surface, similar to the polar attraction by an epoxy polymer. However, the polymer coating remains stable when exposed to ultraviolet light, unlike the epoxy. Although polymer coating can be more expensive than other protection methods, in some cases it proves more cost-effective because of how well it performs.

Subject Headings: Steel pipes | Synthetic materials | Polymer | Pipe materials | Coating | Pipeline materials | Field tests

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