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Is there a need to Pickle and Passivate after bead blasting?

The answer to this question is that pickling in compliance with ASTM A380 is required after bead blasting to provide a passive surface.

Why pickle in compliance with ASTM A380?

Bead blasting with glass is generally used to match the appearance of different components such as castings or plate/sheet or pipe. The beads deform the surface but do not remove much, if any, material. The process is therefore ineffective in removing heat tint or any chromium depleted layer underneath. The “splashing” of the metal can trap fragments from the blast media and provide micro-crevices which are potential corrosion initiating sites. In addition, the fresh metal exposed by the blasting will uncover the sulphide inclusions scattered throughout the metal and these can also be initiation points. Passivation to ASTM A967 would remove the sulphide inclusions but not the metal splashes. It requires pickling to ASTM A380 to dissolve the metal splashes and both release any trapped blast media, dissolve any exposed sulphide inclusions, and provide a passive surface.

Surface roughness!

A surface roughness of 0.5µm Ra (or ~20µ”) will be achieved by a 320-grit abrasive finish which is specified by a 2K finish in EN 10088.2 as suitable for exterior, corrosion resistant exposures. Pickling a mechanically roughened surface will usually slightly reduce the Ra. However, the Ra of blasted surfaces depends on blast time, blast pressure and media profile, for example bead or scrap glass, so the Ra of a blasted surface is less predictable. Pickling will improve a slightly smoother finish.

ICS has access to a dedicated stainless steel technical team so if you have any technical questions regarding any aspect of stainless-steel, please do not hesitate to contact us on 08 9497 3500.

ICS is a Member of the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA) and this article has been peer-reviewed by their technical specialist.

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Stainless Fabrication: Common Traps to Avoid

Errors in stainless-steel fabrication can be expensive and difficult to resolve. So a ‘Get it right the first time’ approach to stainless fabrication is necessary to gain the best result. Check the ASSDA website regularly for a local Stainless Steel Specialist.

ASSDA Accredited Fabricators – Ensuring the Best Result

ASSDA Accredited Fabricators are companies and individuals that have a common understanding of successful technical practices for fabricating stainless-steel.

To ensure the highest standard in quality, Accredited Fabricators belong to the ASSDA Accreditation Scheme, an ASSDA initiative that is intended to achieve self-regulation of the industry, for the benefit of both industry members and end users.

The Accreditation Scheme criteria requires all fabricators to conform to stringent standards of competence, training and education, personal and professional conduct, adhering to a Code of Ethics and a Code of Practice, and committing themselves to continuing competency development.

The Scheme gives owners and specifiers of stainless-steel greater certainty that fabrications using stainless-steel will be performed by technically competent industry specialists.

Common Traps to Avoid

Surface damage, defects and contamination arising during fabrication are all potentially harmful to the oxide film that protects stainless-steel in service. Once damaged, corrosion may initiate. Common causes of surface damage and defects during fabrication include:

Scratches and Mechanical Damage

Scratches and gouges form crevices on the steels surface, allowing entrapment of process reactants or contaminants, providing ideal locations for corrosion. Scratches may also contain carbon steel or other contaminants embedded by the object that caused the scratch.

Scratches will also raise customer concerns in situations where appearance is important. Mechanical cleaning is the most effective way to remove them. Prevention would be better.

Surface Contaminants

Common contaminants likely to attack stainless-steel include carbon steel and common salt. Dust and grime arising during fabrication may contain these contaminants and should be prevented from settling on stainless-steels.

Oil, grease, fingerprints, crayon, paint and chalk marks may also contain products that can provide crevices for localised corrosion and also act as shields to chemical and electrochemical cleaning. They should be removed.

Residual adhesives from tape and protective plastic sometimes remain on surfaces when they are stripped. Organic solvents should remove soft adhesive particles. If left to harden, adhesives form sites for crevice corrosion and are difficult to remove.

The most frequently encountered fabrication problem is embedded iron and loose iron particles, which rapidly rust and initiate corrosion. Other common sources of contamination are abrasives previously used on carbon steel, carbon steel wire brushes, grinding dust and weld spatter from carbon steel operations, introducing iron filings by walking on stainless-steel and iron embedded or smeared on surfaces during layout and handling. All should be avoided.

Welding

The high temperature characteristics of welding can introduce surface and other defects which must be addressed.

Undercut, spatter, slag and stray arc strikes must be minimised as they are potential sites of crevice corrosion. General cleanliness and removal of potential carbon contaminants such as crayon marks, oil or grease is important in obtaining good weld quality. It is also important to remove any zinc that might be present.

Heat Tint and Scale

Heat tint and scale occur when stainless-steel surfaces are heated to moderately high temperatures in air (3500C+) during welding.

Deleterious oxides of chromium may develop on each side and on the under surface of welds and ground areas. These oxides lower the corrosion resistance of the steel and during their formation the stainless-steel is depleted of chromium. The oxidation and the portion of the underlying metal surface with reduced chromium should all be removed by mechanical, chemical or electrochemical means to achieve the best corrosion resistance.

Distortion

Stainless-steel has a relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion coupled with low thermal conductivity, at least compared with carbon steel. So, stainless-steel expands rapidly with the input of heat that occurs during welding and the heat remains close to the heating source. Distortion can result. Distortion can be minimised through using lowest amperage consistent with good weld quality, controlling interpass temperatures and using controlled tack welding, clamping jigs with copper or aluminium backing bars as heat sinks on the welds.1

Removal of Surface Contamination

There are three methods of repairing the surface of stainless-steel.

Mechanical Cleaning

Wire brushing should only be done with stainless-steel bristles that have not been used on any other surface but stainless-steel. Clean abrasive disks and clean flapper wheels are commonly used to remove heat tint and other minor surface imperfections. Also effective is blasting with stainless-steel shot, cut wire or new, iron-free sand (garnet is a common choice).

Chemical and Electrochemical Cleaning

Embedded iron, heat tint and some other contaminants can be removed by acid pickling, usually with a nitric-hydrofluoric acid mixture or by electropolishing. These processes remove, in a controlled manner, from the affected areas, the dark oxide film and a thin layer of metal under it, leaving a clean, defect-free surface. The protective film reforms after exposure to air.

Passivation

Passivation involves treating stainless-steel surfaces with, usually, dilute nitric acid solutions or pastes. This process removes contaminants and allows for a passive film to be formed on a fresh surface, following grinding, machining etc.

Care must be taken. Nitric acid treatments will remove free iron, but not iron oxide contaminants. Passivating, unlike pickling, will not cause a marked change in the appearance of the steel surface.

 Installation

Stainless-steel is best installed last to avoid damage during construction. Also, careful storage and handling including protective coating films are required prior to and during installation to minimise risk of damage to the stainless steel structure.

A primary goal of the stainless steel industry is to have finished products put into service in a ‘passive’ condition (free of corrosive reactions). Stainless steel is a robust and relatively forgiving material, but adherence to informed, good practice will ensure satisfaction for customers and suppliers alike.

Understanding stainless steel is important to its successful application. Ask your stainless steel representatives whether they have successfully completed ASSDA’s Stainless Steel Specialist Course. Their commitment to product knowledge will be your key to success.

References

  1. NI & Euro Inox (1994) Design Manual for Structural Stainless Steel NI Ref. No. 11 013

Resources

ASSDA acknowledges the assistance and contribution of Mr Peter Moore, Technical Services Manager of Atlas Steels in the production of this article.

The Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA)

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Common misconceptions about stainless steel

Everyone knows that stainless steel resists corrosion, but beyond that, an amazing range of half-truths and exaggerations have evolved – often misleading and sometimes simply wrong. This article examines some of the more common myths, explains why they are wrong, and more to the point, provides correct information.

MISCONCEPTION: There are only two types of stainless steel, 304 and 316.

FACT: There are hundreds of stainless steels from high strength duplex 2205 supporting bridges, to furnace ducts of ferritic 3/5Cr12 and the high temperature 310, but the most common types are the austenitic 300 series.

Stainless steels were invented a little over 100 years ago. The corrosion resistance, ease of cleanability, and bright appearance of stainless steels meant its compound growth since 1950 has been about 5% year-on-year. Because of the ease of forming and welding, about 70% of stainless steel use has been within the austenitic family. Within 30 years the accepted chromium level for good corrosion resistance settled at about 18% and “304” was born. Then stainless moved to the seaside and corroded, which led to the development of “316” by adding molybdenum. This in turn created the popular myth of two readily weldable and formable stainless steels despite the hundreds of austenitic grades recognised in standards.

About 25% of global use is seen in (mainly) thin sheet ferritics for cladding. The remaining 5% sees strong duplex, extra strong martensitic blades and wear resistance, and the precipitating hardening grades where strength/hardness is the priority.


MISCONCEPTION: 316 stainless steel is a marine grade and is suitable for seawater immersion. 

FACT: Seawater has about 20 times the chloride level that 316 can withstand and it is worse if the surface is rough or has a crevice (such as a nut and bolt). Seawater suitable stainless steels are the super austenitic or super duplex grades.

316 is often referred to as the ‘marine grade’ but this simply means that, provided it has a good finish and is washed by rain or under a proper maintenance regime, it will remain bright and shiny. In seawater it will rust especially around hard fouling or crevices – think seashells or bolts – and even under deposits in the splash zone. Furthermore, in severe coastal applications where salty ocean spray is allowed to build up over time, 316 can visibly corrode.


MISCONCEPTION:  If it has rust stains, it is not stainless steel.

FACT: Carbon steel contamination or choosing the wrong grade of stainless steel are the usual reasons for rust on stainless steels.

If the rust occurs within a few days or weeks, it is almost certainly due to carbon steel contamination from fabrication or the local environment. Longer initiation periods arise from surfaces that are too rough, aggressive environments (think 304 posts on a wharf), lack of washing (drainpipes under eves) or bar product that has not been passivated.


MISCONCEPTION:  Stainless steel reinforcement will cause accelerated galvanic corrosion of carbon steel reinforcement.

FACT: In concrete, carbon and stainless steels have similar galvanic potentials.

Galvanic interactions occur between connected metals that have different potentials when immersed in a liquid that will cause one of them to corrode. Hence 304 bolts in a 316 panel immersed in tap water will not show galvanic effects despite the difference in potentials. In contrast, carbon steel will corrode more rapidly when coupled to copper or stainless steel in water. It is different in alkaline concrete as both stainless and carbon steel are at the same potential. It is common practice to use stainless steel reinforcement in tidal and splash zones or around penetrations and couple it to the rest of the carbon steel reinforcement.


MISCONCEPTION:  Only non-magnetic stainless steels have good corrosion resistance.

FACT: Magnetism is not related to corrosion resistance.

Probably because the lower chromium stainless steels are all magnetic, e.g., the 3/5Cr12 utility grades or the 410 or 420 or 440 martensitic, a myth perpetuated that magnetism and corrosion resistance were related. And then along came duplex grades with their resistance to seawater (and more aggressive environments) plus a strong ferromagnetic effect. The weak magnetic effect of heavily cold worked 304 versus the negligible magnetic effect of cold worked 316 may also have contributed to the myth.


MISCONCEPTION: Low nickel in stainless steels means it will corrode.

FACT: Nickel only affects the microstructure form, NOT corrosion resistance.

Nickel is a friendly metal and is the predominant influence in turning  ferritic stainless steel into austenitic or duplex grades depending on how much nickel is added. It has no effect on corrosion resistance to initiation of corrosion, which is how the integrity of stainless steel is judged.


MISCONCEPTION: Well-polished stainless steel does not require maintenance. 

FACT: Maintenance is important for the long-term effectiveness of any product. Stainless steel requires minimal maintenance but relies on preserving its passive film with oxygen and water.

Maintenance of stainless steel is required i.e., cleaning to remove adherent deposits left after rain washing. High polish will ease maintenance cleaning, but in the long term, general grime can accumulate just like the detritus on coatings or concrete.


MISCONCEPTION: Using a 316 nut on a 304 bolt stops galling of fasteners.

FACT: Austenitic stainless steels are widely used for corrosion resistant bolting, but galling control requires consideration beyond materials selection, including hardness, design and quality control, lubrication and friction.

Galling of fasteners is simply the cold welding of clean stainless steel surfaces under load. It is worse with fine threads, tight clearances, poor profiles, lack of lubrication, accumulated dirt and over-tightening. Because 304 cold works more than 316, the rule of thumb that a 50HB difference in hardness would prevent galling leads to the 304 cold rolled bolts and 316 machined nuts combination as a “solution”. It may work but the list of caveats above shows its limitations.


MISCONCEPTION:  Stainless steel is expensive.

FACT: The initial capital cost of stainless steel material may be a few percent more but, when considering life-cycle costing, stainless steel delivers long-term performance with minimum downtime and low costs associated with maintenance.

Using stainless steel does not require coatings, has reduced maintenance requirements compared to repainting or patch repairs of coated or galvanised steel, and can either be repurposed or recycled after its practical life. For example, replacing galvanised steel with 304/316 stainless steel in one particular wastewater treatment plant reduced downtime for refurbishment or replacement from 22% to a mere 2%.

There is a stark contrast between the maintenance of iconic structures built from different materials. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was constructed in iron and Sydney’s Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest (wrought) steel arch bridge, but both structures require regular repainting as part of essential maintenance. New York’s Chrysler Building is clad in stainless steel and has only required two washings in its 90-year history.

The Schaffhausen Bridge in Switzerland was built in 1995 with duplex reinforcement in the lower 7.6m of the pylons and 304 in the longitudinal reinforcement because of concerns about road de-icing salts. A life-cycle costing over 80 years showed that with stainless steel used for about 5% of the steel tonnage, stainless steel delivered 13% lower life-cycle costs over carbon steel.

Looking at sustainability, the Tokyo Water Authority reduced leakage in their potable water distribution system from 15.4% in 1980 to 3.6% in 2019 primarily by replacing mains to meter connections with corrugated stainless steel tube. To put this into context, since 1994 Tokyo has reduced annual water leakage by nearly 142 million cubic metres, with savings in excess of US$200 million per year.


This article is featured in Australian Stainless Magazine issue 73, 2021.

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ASSDA Accreditation

What does it mean to be ASSDA accredited?

Accredited Fabricators belong to the ASSDA Accreditation Scheme, an ASSDA initiative that is intended to achieve self regulation of the industry, for the benefit of both industry members and end users.

The Scheme gives owners and specifiers of stainless-steel greater certainty that applications using stainless-steel will be performed by technically competent industry specialists.

Because International Corrosion Services are ASSDA accredited we have access to the entire ASSDA team.  This allows us to offer the benefit of independent technical advice on stainless-steel and pass it on to our customers, even if our customers are not members.

The Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA)

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Sustainability

Did you know that stainless-steel is 100% recyclable?

Not only is stainless-steel durable and low maintenance, it’s also a 100% recyclable commodity.  The majority of stainless-steel produced today has already repurposed. And although some stainless-steel will find its way to landfills or other disposal sites, there are no expected detrimental effects to soil or ground water.

Stainless-steel products are designed to have a long life; often spanning over several decades. The main alloying elements of stainless-steel, (chromium, nickel and molybdenum), are all highly valuable and can easily be recovered and separated from other materials.

So how does stainless-steel improve modern day life?

Stainless steel has many environmental and social benefits. Stainless steel products enable us to lead a healthier life and are cleaner for the environment as well:

  • Improvements in air quality
  • Reduction in the use of fossil fuels
  • Keeps water clean
  • Reduces waste
  • Saved costs for consumers and producers.
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Electropolishing – Busselton Jetty

The Busselton jetty is a shining example of our electropolishing work.

Electropolishing is a process offered by International Corrosion Services that streamlines the microscopic surface of a metal object.

Metal is removed from the object’s surface through a process that is similar, but the the reverse, of electroplating. Metal peaks and high points of the treated surface are shedded.

International Corrosion Services has Western Australia’s largest electropolish bath for the treatment of stainless steel, able to treat pieces of steel up to 6.5m long, 1.5m deep and 1.3m wide.

Our electropolish bath is also the only facility in Western Australia to offer the large-scale service to meet the pre-treatment standard of ASTM Standard B912 and the pickle and passivation standard of ASTM A380.

We exclusively treat stainless steel, so there is no risk of cross-contamination. Our facility is also equipped with soft slings to prevent scratches or damage to steel during movement.

Some of the proven benefits of electropolishing include:

  • Better physical appearance
  • Enhanced mechanical properties
  • Better corrosion resistance
  • Provides a clean, smooth surface that’s easier to sterilise
  • Able to polish areas that are inaccessible by other polishing methods

Click here to find out more about our Electropolishing services and contact us today for treatment.

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The Safety and Environmental Impact of Stainless Steel Treatments Explained


At International Corrosion Services we take our commitment to the safety of our staff and community and preserving the environment and reducing our emissions footprint very seriously. It’s not easy working with the dangerous chemicals that are needed for the treatment of stainless steel and we take every precaution we can that we work within and above our Health, Safety & Environmental Policy as well as our statutory commitments to people and the environment.

Stainless Steel Treatments

Our core business of treating stainless steel involves cleaning, electropolishing, pickling, and passivation. All of these processes use acids and alkali’s which most of us can appreciate can be very dangerous to people and the environment if not handled with the due respect they deserve. The treatment chemicals assist in executing ICS’s core business which is the corrosion prevention or treatment of stainless steel. If left untreated corrosion to stainless steel can itself pose a serious threat to people and the environment? ICS’s treatment process of electro-polishing prevents corrosion in several ways as does cleaning and pickling and passivation. Stainless steel is well known for its corrosion resistance but can still corrode if not treated post fabrication but before installation and as part of ongoing maintenance when in-situ. ICS can help its customers with all of these treatment options.

Our Commitment to Safety

There is nothing more important to us here at ICS than the safety of our customers, employees and the environment, which is why ICS management and staff are strongly committed and focused to our no harm and no incident Health and Safety Policy. Additionally, ICS shows its commitment with its regulatory compliance to the Environmental Protection Agency for its Air Emissions, Dangerous Goods Licences through the Department of Mines, Water Disposal Permit in compliance with the Water Corporation. Over and above this ICS constantly go over and above its safety commitment to its staff by completing regular workshop air emissions testing, and Western Australia’s largest pickling bath air extraction fume hood. All of our employees are committed to these priorities and management is empowered to provide team members with all of the information and tools they need to effectively implement all of our safety policy and procedures.

If you have any questions regarding the safety of our services for your facility, we will gladly answer them for you. We want you to have the confidence in knowing that you made the right choice in working with us for all your stainless steel treatment needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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Onsite Stainless Steel Cleaning That Won’t Take You To The Cleaners


International Corrosion Services, Travis Hayto, Garth Haseldine PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The pre-commissioning stage shouldn’t be the only time your stainless steel system or installation sees a good cleaning, pickling, and/or passivation, although it may be the most important time. Doing this periodically after it’s been put to work and removing process contaminants, will help to maintain the life and integrity of the stainless steel. It can be a daunting process, especially with a large stainless steel cleaning project. Let International Corrosion Services, or ICS, do that work for you.

What is Pickling?

In the context of stainless steel – the chemical treatment used to remove the damaged layers of stainless steel or contaminants such as the heat effected zone and iron restoring the chromium oxide layer which gives stainless it self healing and protection properties.

Chromium depletion occurs where the steel was heated – through welding, for example, which affects the steel surface’s ability to form a chromium oxide layer, making the steel less resistant to corrosion. In order to restore corrosion resistance, this damaged layer needs to be removed. Removing it mechanically may result in abrasive particles embedding in the steel, which would be counterproductive, as this will interfere with the corrosion resistance itself.

The pickling solution usually consist of a hydrofluoric acid mixture, although there are other mixtures for specialised purposes. After pickling, the metal looks duller.

What is Passivation?

Passivation occurs when a protective, “passive” film – chromium oxide – forms on the surface of steel that will protect against corrosion. It happens naturally, however sometimes you want it to form rapidly. Nitric acid solutions or Avesta Finsh One 630 are applied to help this along.

Passivation doesn’t dull the surface of the steel like pickling, but it is important to apply Avesta FinishOne 630 after pickling to remove free iron contamination, so often you will pickle and then passivate.

Neither pickling nor passivation removes grease or oil, so the fabrication should be cleaned with detergent or an alkaline clean beforehand.

For more detailed information about pickling and passivation, check out the Australia Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA) article. ASSDA also recommends reading the ASTM A380 Standard Practice for Cleaning, Descaling and Passivation of Stainless Steel Parts, Equipment and Systems and offers a number of publications for sale.

Why Not Let ICS Do The Dirty Work For You?

Both processes utilise acids that are dangerous to operators and the environment, so they must be handled properly, pursuant to safety precautions outlined in Materials Safety Data Sheets. After pickling and passivation, you must also neutralise the acids by using an alkali and then thoroughly rinse the components. That’s a lot of hassle. Also in Western Australia, the State Government requires any user of Hydroflouric Pickling paste to hold a Poisons Permit.

ICS uses the most effective acid mixtures for its processes and owns the best – and largest – state-of-the-art stainless steel pickling and passivation bath in the country.

Read more about the amazing ICS pickling bath.

Remarkably, ICS also offers an onsite cleaning, pickling, and passivation service if it is unfeasible or impossible to move components off the premises. This service includes:

  • Identifying the type of treatment required and develop a scope of works;
  • Developing site-specific treatment operating procedures in compliance with the standards;
  • Developing and implementing health and safety procedures (risk assessments included);
  • Bundling and waste capture process for collection and offsite disposal;
  • Quality control (sometimes using the Forroxyl test as a means of ensuring the stainless steel is free from iron contamination; and
  • Issuing a certificate of completion and conformity.

Read more about ICS onsite services.

What this means is that you can forego the headaches because you can rest assured that your stainless steel equipment is getting the very best cleaning and treatment, and will last longer as a result. Let the experts come to you. Contact us for more information.

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International Corrosion Services’ Expertise

International Corrosion Services are the world’s leader in the treatment of stainless steel. Operating since 2010, we have over 100 years’ worth of combined experience across our team of experts. We’re proud to offer expertise on electropolishing, descaling, pickling and passivation treatments and supplementary chemical products and services.

We work to all current and applicable standards in the treatment of stainless steel, including:

  • AS 1627
  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM A967
  • ASTM B912

We have extensive onsite services, including Western Australia’s largest Electropolish bath. Our plant also includes:

  • New 5000amp state of the art German manufactured rectifier
  • Mixer for agitation of the fluid
  • Temperature sensor
  • Electrical heaters
  • Electrical control panel and control units
  • Bath cover/lid (manual handling)
  • Fumes exhaust system
  • Waste Disposal and recycling system
  • 10 tonne and 5 tonne overhead cranes

Below is a timeline of some of our major projects, showcasing our work and successes. Our wide range of treatment products and services can fit any project or need. Consult one of our specialists today to see how we can help you.

Electropolish Fire Fighting Equipment – Project Ongoing

ICS have been contracted by Frontline Fire and Rescue, who are the designers and manufacturers of Fire Appliances, Rescue Vehicles, Specialised Vehicles and purpose built trailers and equipment.

Our current, ongoing project with Frontline Fire and Rescue is to pickle and passivate stainless steel as per the following standards:

  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM A967

Once completed, the stainless steel is Electropolished to meet standard ASTM B912.

While most of our clients only opt to pickle and passivate their pipe stools, Frontline Fire and Rescue equipment looks fantastic polished, completing their equipment.

ICS were contracted to complete a high polish on the handrail sections on the Geraldton foreshore, 400km north of Perth.

The stainless steel was pickled and passivated to meet standards ASTM A380 and ASTM A967. Upon completion, the stainless steel was Electropolished to standard ASTM B912.

ICS were contracted by Civmec Construction to treat their stainless steel spool for their Oil & Gas Process Plant. Made via a confined space entry, the stainless steel fabrication required internal spray pickle and passivation.

The treatment of all internal stainless steel surfaces adhered to the following standards:

  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM A967

Offshore Angola Africa – Completed 2015


ICS were contracted for the treatment of subsea stainless steel Motion Record unit assemblies for an Floating Storage & Production Offtake (FPSO). The service vessel, based in offshore Angola, required treatment using pickling paste, cleaner, passivator and mechanical abrasion to remove corrosion on the subsea canisters.

Treatment met standards as per ASTM A967.

Kemmerton – Completed 2014


ICS were contracted by Tenix Australia to treat their stainless steel Waste Water Treatment Plant. Located in Kemmerton, W.A., the stainless steel fabrication required cleaning. The structure was fully encapsulated with scaffold and tarps.

Exchange Plaza Signage – Completed 2014


On site in Perth City, ICS were contracted by the Exchange Plaza to clean the stainless steel signage, which was both dirty and corrosion tea stained.

Cleaning of the stainless steel signage surface as per standard ASTM A967.

PTTEP Oil Rig – Completed 2014

ICS were contracted by PTTEP Australia to inspect and treat the Floating Storage & Production Offtake (FPSO), as the stainless steel was showing early signs of corrosion.

Works were undertaken offshore on the FPSO, and completed to the following standards:

  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM A967

CB&I Project – Completed 2012

ICS were contracted to CB&I Constructors for the treatment of a 20m diameter, 15m high stainless steel tank.

The project, including New Build Tank Internal and External Pickle and Passivation, was completed on-site and met the following standards:

  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM A967

TGF 999 Pty Ltd – Completed 2010

ICS were contracted by TGF 999 to treat two 10m diameter, 12m high stainless steel tanks. The work was completed on-site at the Blue Tongue Brewery in NSW, and included New Build Tank External Pickle and Passivation of stainless steel, meeting the following standards:

  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM A967

Consult one of our specialists today to see how we can help you.

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Onsite Service and Maintenance

Our Onsite Services

In addition to our own facilities, International Corrosion Services also offer direct onsite services for our clients. This service allows us to treat stainless steel pieces, process plants or equipment which may be too large or immobile to transport for treatment.

Our onsite team is highly experienced with specialised onsite expertise, including:

  • Identifying the type of treatment required for your project
  • Developing a scope of works
  • Developing a site-specific treatment operating procedures, in compliance with industry standards
  • Developing and implementing health and safety procedures, including risk assessments
  • Bunding and waste capture process, for collection and offsite disposal
  • Quality control of treatment, incorporating the use of the Forroxyl test a means of ensuring the stainless steel is free from iron contamination

A certificate of completion and conformity will be issued at the conclusion of the project.

Our most regular onsite services are:

  • Full pickle and passivation
  • Cleaning
  • Both treatments to stainless steel

All our standard operating procedures are compliant with the following industry standards:

  • ASTM A380, A967
  • AS 1627.1, AS 1627.5

Pickle and Passivation

The pickle and passivation of stainless steel should be performed for post weld treatment. This treatment ensures stainless steel is clean from contaminants.

While pickling and passivation gives your stainless steel its best chance of resisting corrosion, it will not remove scratches or abrasion from the surface. Our acceptance criteria is no heat tint on the welds (black burns which can’t be removed, paint pens and markings accepted), no grease, grime or dirt, with a nice clean visual appearance. Stainless steel is at its optimum corrosion resistance when it is kept clean, allowing it to self passivate.

Self passivating is a thin layer of chromium oxide, generating itself due to the metal composition of the stainless steel. This extremely thin layer (commonly called a passive layer) gives stainless steel its corrosion resistant properties. After welding, these self passivating properties are destroyed, leaving stainless steel vulnerable to corrosion if left untreated.

Our pickle and passivation process is in full compliance with:

  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM A967
  • AS1627.1, 1627.5

Offshore Maintenance

Our onsite services and expertise includes offshore maintenance, including oil and gas platforms and other offshore facilities.

Allowing maintenance to lapse on your offshore facilities can lead to corrosion, compromising its structural integrity.

The most common signs of corrosion are pitting and crevice corrosion.

Pitting is a form of corrosion which is often readily visible to the naked eye, and is a symptom of the chromium-rich passive oxide film on tubing breaking down due to exposure in a chloride-rich environment. A higher chloride concentration or increased temperature is more likely to result in the passive film breaking down.

Pitting is not only unsightly, it can eventually cause a situation where tubing could fail. Without the passive film intact to protect the steel, pitting and perforation can occur.

While pitting will initially form in the shape of shallow pits, continued lack of proper maintenance will see the corrosion develop to deep and even connected pits.

Crevice corrosion can be extremely difficult to avoid in tubing. Tight crevices are the biggest risk to steel, with corrosion causing the oxygen concentration in the fluid within to drop.

This lower oxygen concentration increases the likelihood of the passive surface oxide film breaking down, resulting in a shallow pit, which can be disastrous for stainless steel.

 

Ongoing Maintenance

To extend the design life time of your stainless steel structures, maintenance program procedures and inspection periods are critical.

Inspections prevent excessive corrosion, primarily in offshore and coastal environments, including ensuring water drainage systems are working correctly. If stainless steel is found to be exposed to the elements, particularly coastal or chemicals (such as chlorine), the steel is at risk of corrosion.

Our corrosion maintenance, including cleaning and coating treatments, ensure your stainless steel keeps its structure life, integrity and aesthetic lustre for as long as possible.

To find out more about our Onsite Services or to book a job in, please call our office on (08) 9497 3500 or visit our Contact page here.

 

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