Immersion:This concerns the part of the construction that is below the water line - at lowest tide.In this zone the corrosion rate of unprotected steel is typically in range of 100 - 200 µm(4 - 8 mils).Another factor that needs to be considered is fouling.A special case of immersion is related to the part of the steel structure that is situatedbelow the seabed - typically rammed into the bottom.Corrosion rates are here typically much lower due to lower concentrations of oxygen.The above listed corrosion rates do not take into account pit corrosion, where the ratemay be significantly higher.
Table 1: Offshore corrosion rates as steel thickness loss per year
Area Corrosion rate (steel loss per year)Atmospheric zone (C5-M) 80 - 200 µm (3 - 8 mils)Splash zone 200 - 500 µm (8 - 20 milsImmersion (Im 2) 100 - 200 µm (4 - 8 mils).
PROTECTION AGAINST THE ENVIRONMENT!
The most common method used for the protection of steel in offshore environments is theuse of various types of coatings and for the immersion zone, coatings combined withcathodic protection. This paper will concentrate on coatings.For proper performance of coating systems and thus durable corrosion protection for suchextreme conditions, one must respect the fundamental parameters in coating selection andapplication that are each critical to achieve the required result.These parameters include the:- Type and condition of the substrate- Environment and possible additional stresses- Surface preparation- Quality of the coatings- Selection of the coating systems (Generic types, thickness etc.)- Application- Quality control
The substrate addressed in this paper is steel - with focus on new building and new steel.But even with new steel, there are different grades of qualities or the steel may have beenstored under unfavorable conditions resulting in pit corrosion.