The Risks and Dangers of Corrosion for CompaniesDecember 24, 2020
Running a business is no small feat. From keeping workers happy to investing in effective marketing and making sure your business is always keeping up with the competition, there are a lot of things to think about. One of the biggest responsibilities any business owner has is keeping their equipment in good working order.
Across every industry, from wine-making to tool manufacture, companies rely on different forms of machinery, equipment, and other items that allow them to carry out their day to day operations and keep their business functioning smoothly, creating the products and services they share with their customers and clients.
However, while most business equipment is designed with durability in mind, designed to reliably function for years of use, the simple fact of the matter is that there are many risks and dangers that can gradually degrade the quality of your equipment. One of the biggest risks of all is corrosion, and this guide will explain how it works and what dangers it can pose.
What Exactly Is Corrosion?
In order to understand the risks and effects of corrosion, we first have to understand what exactly corrosion is and how it occurs. From a scientific perspective, corrosion is the process of decay on a material or substance, caused by some kind of chemical reaction with the surrounding environment.
In simple terms, it’s the gradual break down of substances due to them coming into contact with certain substances, chemicals, or conditions. For example, metal surfaces may start to corrode when they come into contact with certain acidic gases or liquids.
Corrosion can be a very dangerous and damaging problem, potentially causing entire buildings to collapse and large pieces of heavy machinery to become inoperable, leading to broken pipes, damaged materials, and worn down gear that needs to be repaired, restored, or replaced.
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The Effects and Dangers
Now we know what exactly corrosion is, we can better understand the various effects and dangers it can pose. Here are just some examples:
- Mechanical or electronic failure – Machinery and other pieces of equipment may eventually break down or stop functioning correctly due to the long-term effects of corrosion.
- Downtime – If your equipment becomes temporarily inoperable because of corrosion, your company may experience a costly period of downtime, during which you will be able to function correctly and carry out your usual operations and activities.
- Risk of Injury – Continuing to use corroded equipment can lead to a higher risk of injury both for workers and members of the public. Corroded items are more likely to break apart, fall down, or hurt someone.
- Aesthetics – Corrosion is often a visible process and can drastically affect the appearance of pieces of equipment and machinery too, reducing the value of buildings and locations and giving a company a far less professional and trustworthy air.
- Blocked or Leaky Pipes – Corrosion often occurs in pipes due to their near-constant exposure to water and various minerals, elements, and chemicals, and corroded pipes are more likely to get blocked or spring leaks.
- Structural Damage – Entire structures can be affected by corrosion, leading to major damages to other pieces of equipment, greater risk of downtime, and even a threat to human life.
- Contamination – Areas affected by corrosion are often rich in chemicals and other by-products that can then contaminant nearby equipment or seep into liquids and other substances passing by.
Preventing and Controlling Corrosion
Corrosion is a natural process that occurs all the time to many items and materials, and in many ways, it can’t really be stopped, but it can be slowed down and delayed through preventative action.
Various sprays, treatments, and protective coatings can be applied to machinery and other items to protect them against corrosion, and machinery should be regularly checked over for signs of corrosion to stop the problem before it develops into something more serious.
Once corrosion has settled in and begun causing serious effects, restoration services may be needed, in which trained specialists will be able to rid your equipment of corrosion and restore items to working order.
If your company makes use of any kind of machinery, heavy equipment, or other electronic and mechanical devices to function effectively, then corrosion is something you have to be aware of and ready to handle. It can be insidious in its development, slowly eating away at your equipment without you even noticing, so active checks and regular maintenance are essential.