From Bridges To Hospitals, Corrosion Is An Endless Battle | KERA News

From Bridges To Hospitals, Corrosion Is An Endless Battle

Mar 20, 2015

The world’s royalty of rust descended on Dallas this week for a conference called Corrosion 2015.  It’s an annual event that showcases the science used to combat everything from crumbling bridges to rusty pipelines.

Jim Feather is the president of National Association of Corrosion Engineers and he joined us for a talk about the conference.

Interview Highlights: Jim Feather ...

... on the reason for the corrosion conference: "Corrosion is a very far-reaching problem. If you think of how the public perceives it, the condition of the infrastructure in the U.S. and globally is often in the news. Corroding bridges, collapsing bridges, pipeline failures -- it's a very important issue for many people and it affects the economics of various countries and communities. It affects the environment. It affects the safety of individuals."

... on how hospitals endure corrosion, too: "If you think about what the human body is -- the large fraction of water that it is -- and it's salt water, it's saline, very corrosive. Think about how seawater acts on piers and things that are easy for you to see. The human body is very similar to that. It's an oxygen-laden salty environment -- very corrosive."

... on microbial corrosion: "So any of us who've gone to the dentist know how microbes can affect your teeth. It's actually very similar. The bacteria can generate an environment with the moisture and the salinity in your mouth. It's the same thing in pipelines where we have a water-salty environment. Some bugs, we call them bugs, are very adept at chemical reactions that can even create more corrosive environments."

... on getting kids interested in the field: "This is the first time we've brought in high school students to one of our conferences. Sixty Dallas-area high school students came in to learn about corrosion -- why is that? One of the key drivers for the association, particularly through what we call our NACE foundation, is to expose them to what this is all about. It's easy to understand someone in school today. I'm looking at chemistry, physics, or biology -- things that are normally taught -- but engineering concepts aren't normally approached in schools. This is a way to expose them."

Jim Feather is the president of National Association of Corrosion Engineers which held 'Corrosion 2015' in Dallas.