Corroding in Australia

Australian scientists have joined forces with a major Australian corporation to launch a new mapping system that predicts corrosion in any part of Australia.

Industrial Galvanizers Corporation (IGC) and CSIRO’s Corrosion Mapping System (CMS) is claimed to be the world’s first comprehensive corrosion prediction tool.

The system incorporates a corrosion model that predicts the effects that climatic conditions including moisture, shelter, prevailing winds, salinity and pollution, have on the life of products as diverse as motor vehicles and infrastructures such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

‘ Few corrosion models take orientation factors into account, although they can have a dramatic effect on corrosivity,’ said IGC Group Development Manager, John Robinson.

‘For example, in a marine environment where chloride deposition rates are high, sheltered facades may have corrosion rates four times higher than those in exposed locations on the same site,’ he added.

Dr. Ivan Cole of CSIRO Materials Engineering said: ‘CMS, developed through several years of research, even takes into account durability factors impacting on greenhouse gas contributions and soil conditions, making it a unique tool for Australian industry.’

‘The Corrosion Mapping System provides detailed corrosion-rate information on precise locations throughout Australia, for uncoated steel and galvanized coatings. These locations can be defined by inputting latitude and longitude, or simply by clicking on the Corrosion Map,’ Dr. Cole added.

Mr. Robinson says additional modules have been included in the CMS to allow corrosivity of soils to be evaluated by inputting soil chemistry parameters.

‘We were able to do this with the help of IGC’s INGAL Civil Products Division, Australia’s largest supplier of buried corrugated metal structures (culverts and tunnels). INGAL had invaluable in-ground corrosion data on buried steel structures collected over 60 years.

‘Evaluation of material sustainability is provided by an additional module that provides information on energy and greenhouse factors related to a range of construction materials, based on their durability,’ Mr. Robinson said.

IGC has placed the Corrosion Mapping System on the World Wide Web at for users who need durability information for steel construction products.

‘This type of specialised technical information is very difficult to come by in any other way,’ said Robinson.