The most common and difficult problem that various petrochemical plants in the world face concerning their equipment and pipelines is corrosion under insulation (CUI). Several fire incidents have occurred in domestic petrochemical companies. An investigation found that 60% of these incidents were caused by CUI in pipelines. ITRI develops CUI protective coatings that meet ISO 12944 CX with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Compared with off-the-shelf products, the content of solvents in these coatings is reduced by 50% and their anti-corrosion ability is 3–4 times better. A testing platform for simulating the CUI environment that meets ASTM G189 has also been established to quantify the performance of CUI protective coatings, along with electrochemical analyses (LPR and EIS). In a concrete example, ITRI has helped Yung Chi Paint & Varnish MFG. CO., LTD and CPC Corporation to independently develop CUI protective coating formulae and detection technology. Although when compared with other anti-corrosion coatings, the unit price of these CUI protective coatings is 2–4 times higher, the value-added rate is increased by 30%–50%. In addition, a platform for testing heavy-duty anti-corrosion coatings according to ISO 20340 has been established, which allows accelerated testing of on-site exposure to the sun.
Applications & Benefits
Moreover, ITRI provides guidance to Formosa Petrochemical Corporation on developing a systematic method for preventing the performance of CUI protective and atmospheric anti-corrosion coatings from degrading, as well as for the maintenance and management of coatings. It is estimated that this method will help to save more than 30% (approximately NT$600 million) of maintenance costs.