January 4, 2022

Aggressive Corrosion Repair for Power Plants

Aggressive corrosion at power plants is a significant and costly problem, and many are turning to HJ3's CarbonSeal carbon fiber for cost-effective repairs

Tackling Aggressive Corrosion in Power Plants: Cost-Effective Solutions

Rampant corrosion in power plants is a pressing issue affecting older and newer steel and reinforced concrete structures nationwide. This corrosion menace poses a significant threat, especially when critical infrastructure is at stake. For example, American Electric Power encountered alarming corrosion just a year after installing a pollution scrubber at its Cardinal plant in Ohio, which was designed to last 25 years. Electric Power Research Institute, funded by utility companies, has also observed similar corrosion issues across the country. The consequences are dire, ranging from potential plant shutdowns to hefty repair costs, which can ultimately be passed on to consumers through increased power bills.

Power plant corrosion repair solutions come in various forms, varying in size, cost, and complexity. Protective coatings serve as a defense against water and chemical corrosion in steel and reinforced concrete. Yet, when it comes to structural strengthening requirements beyond corrosion prevention, power plants seek fast, long-term solutions to avert expensive infrastructure replacements. This holds true for various types of power plants, including geothermal facilities, which harness Earth's heat for power generation.

For instance, in a geothermal power plant located on the west coast, aggressive corrosion had taken a toll on the primary clarifier, a crucial component in the process. The primary clarifier exhibited corrosion on its sidewalls, upper tank ring, and dome. Approximately 80% of the steel had been corroded, significantly compromising the tank's structural integrity. The sidewalls were exposed to temperatures of around 140°F, exacerbating the corrosion issue. Multiple areas of the clarifier required repair, including a wall patch, the tank's sidewall and dome roof connection, the dome roof, and a 36" diameter overflow pipe.

The repair process involved abrasive blasting to remove the damaged steel's corroded layers and the application of a high modulus paste. CarbonSeal carbon fiber was saturated and installed, followed by a chemical-resistant top coat, ensuring long-lasting protection against future corrosion.

HJ3’s CarbonSeal repair system successfully restored the required 20-psi hoop strengthening to the steel vessel during the scheduled shut-down period, delivering significant cost savings compared to the replacement of the clarifier unit. Aggressive corrosion is an issue affecting power plants and their customers, resulting in millions of dollars in infrastructure replacement costs. Nevertheless, viable long-term solutions exist, including HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber repair systems and robust chemical-resistant coatings. If you have a steel or reinforced concrete structure in need of reinforcement, and wish to explore HJ3’s CarbonSeal industrial repair systems, contact our project managers at hj3pm@hj3.com.

corroded power plant clarifier

geothermal power plant primary clarifier repair


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