Corrosion-induced failures of critical electrical components within the control rooms and systems of industrial facilities can be a frequent occurrence. This is a particularly significant issue for chemical processing plants or facilities , due to the presence of corrosive gases that can permeate these spaces and degrade or incapacitate critical electronic equipment. This scenario can potentially lead to catastrophic failure within critical control and safety systems.
These corrosive environments must be properly managed for safe and successful system operation and reliability. Appropriate environmental assessment, monitoring and controls can be applied to avoid corrosion issues in plant-wide distributed control system spaces, control rooms and computer facilities.
Sources of airborne contamination within chemical processing plants or facilities may include:
Corrosion of metals is actually a chemical reaction, caused primarily by attack of gaseous contaminants and accelerated by heat and moisture. In the context of electronic equipment, corrosion is defined as the deterioration of a base metal resulting from a reaction with its environment.
Corrosive gases (specifically acidic gases, caustic gases, oxides and oxidising gases) and water vapour facilitate the condensation of contaminants coming into contact with the base metal, resulting in the build up of various chemical reaction products. As the chemical reactions continue, these corrosion products can form insulating layers on circuits, which can lead to thermal failure or short circuits. Pitting and metal loss can also occur.
For more information, read the full technical article, entitled “What’s Corroding Your Control Room?”, written by Chris Muller (Technical Director for Purafil Inc.) and published within Chemical Engineering, January 2017, pages 35-43.
Purafil Inc. is a manufacturer of gas-phase air filtration media, filters, equipment and air monitoring instrumentation. Airepure Australia is the exclusive distributor of Purafil products within Australia.
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