Unexpected corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride waters - microbial aspects

Lisbeth Hilbert, Leena Carpen, Per Moller, Frank Fontenay, Troels Mathiesen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Stainless steels EN 1.4301 and 1.4401/1.4404 are normally considered corrosion resistant in low chloride natural waters like drinking water. However, a number of corrosion failures have been observed in e.g. fire extinguisher systems and drinking water installations, where stagnant conditions or periods of low water consumption have occurred prior to the failure. Typically the corrosion attacks appear within 2-3 years in weld nuggets, heat affected zones or in crevices like e.g. press fitting pipe connections. The failure mode is pitting and crevice corrosion leading to leaks and rust stains on the outside of the installation. Corrosion may occur in water qualities with rather low chloride contents and fairly low conductivity, which would usually not be considered especially corrosive towards stainless steel. One key parameter is the ennoblement documented on stainless steel in drinking water qualities, due to the formation of a biofilm. In itself, this is not enough to initiate pitting in these water qualities, but combined with a geometrically or metallurgically vulnerable area, corrosion may accelerate. The mechanism is linked to the naturally occurring microbial activity, where the localisation and growth of specific bacteria depend on the environment. Inside a crevice the oxygen content will decrease and anaerobic, stagnant conditions will form leading to growth of e.g. sulphate-reducing bacteria, whereas the heat tint on a heat affected zone with its high content of iron facilitates the growth of iron oxidising bacteria. A number of failure cases from Danish and Finnish stainless steel installations are discussed with the objective to identify key parameters, suggest possible mechanisms and discuss whether prediction is possible. The paper includes a short literature review, practical experience with corrosion in connections in stainless steel installations - either welded connections or press fittings - and suggested mechanisms for the microbiologically influenced corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride water. This cooperation was facilitated by COST D33 “Nanoscale electrochemical and bio-processes at solid-aqueous interfaces of industrial materials”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eurocorr 2009
Place of PublicationNice, FR
PublisherEuropean Federation of Corrosion EFC
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventEuropean Corrosion Congress, Eurocorr 2009 - Nice, France
Duration: 6 Sep 200910 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Corrosion Congress, Eurocorr 2009
Abbreviated titleEurocorr 2009
CountryFrance
CityNice
Period6/09/0910/09/09

Fingerprint

Stainless steel
Corrosion
Water
Potable water
Water quality
Bacteria
Heat affected zone
Pitting
Fire extinguishers
Pipe fittings
Iron
Biofilms
Failure modes
Welds
Oxygen

Keywords

  • stainless steel
  • press fittings
  • microbially influenced corrosion
  • drinking water
  • crevice corrosion

Cite this

Hilbert, L., Carpen, L., Moller, P., Fontenay, F., & Mathiesen, T. (2009). Unexpected corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride waters - microbial aspects. In Proceedings of the Eurocorr 2009 Nice, FR: European Federation of Corrosion EFC.
Hilbert, Lisbeth ; Carpen, Leena ; Moller, Per ; Fontenay, Frank ; Mathiesen, Troels. / Unexpected corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride waters - microbial aspects. Proceedings of the Eurocorr 2009. Nice, FR : European Federation of Corrosion EFC, 2009.
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Hilbert, L, Carpen, L, Moller, P, Fontenay, F & Mathiesen, T 2009, Unexpected corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride waters - microbial aspects. in Proceedings of the Eurocorr 2009. European Federation of Corrosion EFC, Nice, FR, European Corrosion Congress, Eurocorr 2009, Nice, France, 6/09/09.

Unexpected corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride waters - microbial aspects. / Hilbert, Lisbeth; Carpen, Leena; Moller, Per; Fontenay, Frank; Mathiesen, Troels.

Proceedings of the Eurocorr 2009. Nice, FR : European Federation of Corrosion EFC, 2009.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

TY - GEN

T1 - Unexpected corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride waters - microbial aspects

AU - Hilbert, Lisbeth

AU - Carpen, Leena

AU - Moller, Per

AU - Fontenay, Frank

AU - Mathiesen, Troels

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Stainless steels EN 1.4301 and 1.4401/1.4404 are normally considered corrosion resistant in low chloride natural waters like drinking water. However, a number of corrosion failures have been observed in e.g. fire extinguisher systems and drinking water installations, where stagnant conditions or periods of low water consumption have occurred prior to the failure. Typically the corrosion attacks appear within 2-3 years in weld nuggets, heat affected zones or in crevices like e.g. press fitting pipe connections. The failure mode is pitting and crevice corrosion leading to leaks and rust stains on the outside of the installation. Corrosion may occur in water qualities with rather low chloride contents and fairly low conductivity, which would usually not be considered especially corrosive towards stainless steel. One key parameter is the ennoblement documented on stainless steel in drinking water qualities, due to the formation of a biofilm. In itself, this is not enough to initiate pitting in these water qualities, but combined with a geometrically or metallurgically vulnerable area, corrosion may accelerate. The mechanism is linked to the naturally occurring microbial activity, where the localisation and growth of specific bacteria depend on the environment. Inside a crevice the oxygen content will decrease and anaerobic, stagnant conditions will form leading to growth of e.g. sulphate-reducing bacteria, whereas the heat tint on a heat affected zone with its high content of iron facilitates the growth of iron oxidising bacteria. A number of failure cases from Danish and Finnish stainless steel installations are discussed with the objective to identify key parameters, suggest possible mechanisms and discuss whether prediction is possible. The paper includes a short literature review, practical experience with corrosion in connections in stainless steel installations - either welded connections or press fittings - and suggested mechanisms for the microbiologically influenced corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride water. This cooperation was facilitated by COST D33 “Nanoscale electrochemical and bio-processes at solid-aqueous interfaces of industrial materials”.

AB - Stainless steels EN 1.4301 and 1.4401/1.4404 are normally considered corrosion resistant in low chloride natural waters like drinking water. However, a number of corrosion failures have been observed in e.g. fire extinguisher systems and drinking water installations, where stagnant conditions or periods of low water consumption have occurred prior to the failure. Typically the corrosion attacks appear within 2-3 years in weld nuggets, heat affected zones or in crevices like e.g. press fitting pipe connections. The failure mode is pitting and crevice corrosion leading to leaks and rust stains on the outside of the installation. Corrosion may occur in water qualities with rather low chloride contents and fairly low conductivity, which would usually not be considered especially corrosive towards stainless steel. One key parameter is the ennoblement documented on stainless steel in drinking water qualities, due to the formation of a biofilm. In itself, this is not enough to initiate pitting in these water qualities, but combined with a geometrically or metallurgically vulnerable area, corrosion may accelerate. The mechanism is linked to the naturally occurring microbial activity, where the localisation and growth of specific bacteria depend on the environment. Inside a crevice the oxygen content will decrease and anaerobic, stagnant conditions will form leading to growth of e.g. sulphate-reducing bacteria, whereas the heat tint on a heat affected zone with its high content of iron facilitates the growth of iron oxidising bacteria. A number of failure cases from Danish and Finnish stainless steel installations are discussed with the objective to identify key parameters, suggest possible mechanisms and discuss whether prediction is possible. The paper includes a short literature review, practical experience with corrosion in connections in stainless steel installations - either welded connections or press fittings - and suggested mechanisms for the microbiologically influenced corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride water. This cooperation was facilitated by COST D33 “Nanoscale electrochemical and bio-processes at solid-aqueous interfaces of industrial materials”.

KW - stainless steel

KW - press fittings

KW - microbially influenced corrosion

KW - drinking water

KW - crevice corrosion

M3 - Conference article in proceedings

BT - Proceedings of the Eurocorr 2009

PB - European Federation of Corrosion EFC

CY - Nice, FR

ER -

Hilbert L, Carpen L, Moller P, Fontenay F, Mathiesen T. Unexpected corrosion of stainless steel in low chloride waters - microbial aspects. In Proceedings of the Eurocorr 2009. Nice, FR: European Federation of Corrosion EFC. 2009