How Corrosion Threatens Process Control and Equipment Rooms

A clean, stable environment is essential to maintaining a functional process control or equipment rooms. Without it, equipment and electronics can fail or require repair or replacement far earlier than they should. 

Corrosion in specific is a major factor managers need to monitor and mitigate to ensure proper care and maintenance of their spaces. In fact, corrosion of contacts and components on circuit boards accounts for 30 to 40% of all equipment failures.

Let’s take a closer look at how corrosion impacts process control and equipment rooms.

What can corrosion damage in process control and equipment rooms?

Mismanaged environments can lead to corrosion on multiple surfaces including:

  • All non-conformal coated electronic equipment
  • PC based servers
  • Controllers
  • Standalone electronics
  • Other electronic equipment present in these environments

In essence, corrosion threatens to destroy the vast majority of expensive, delicate equipment and circuitry in process control and equipment rooms.

What causes corrosion in process control and equipment rooms?

Corrosion of metals generally occurs due to the presence of corrosive gasses in the air. In process industries (petrochemical, refining, pulp and paper, steel making, etc.) the act of processing produces the type of chemical compounds in the air that lead to corrosion. Humidity and improper temperatures accelerate corrosion as small portions of circuits fall below the dewpoint temperature.

Corrosion does not have to happen. However, many processing facilities suffer from unmanaged environments. When uncontrolled temperature and humidity combine with harmful corrosive gasses in the air the result is equipment-destroying corrosion. 

Why is corrosion a growing problem in processing facilities?

Many industries continue to increase their processing capacity, which leads to more corrosive gasses in the air. In addition, electrical and electronic equipment is becoming more sophisticated, which makes it more sensitive to environmental conditions. 

What are the dangers of corrosion in process plants?

First and foremost, corrosion is an increasing safety concern, particularly on high voltage systems. Failure of these systems can result in physical harm to workers and irreversible damage to the equipment itself.

Beyond safety concerns, corrosion causes hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct and indirect costs a year in process plants just in the United States alone.

How Purafil can help eliminate corrosive elements in process plants

Process control and equipment rooms do not need to be exposed to the threat of corrosive damage. Purafil’s real-time corrosion monitoring and chemical air filtration technologies have developed to the point where corrosive gasses can be accurately measured in real-time and controlled effectively and economically. 

Depending on the facility’s needs, Purafil can offer help in multiple ways including:

  • OnGuard Smart: Our OnGuard Smart system helps monitor a facility’s air for reactive elements that can cause corrosion. It also measures humidity and temperature and alerts users to potential threats to the environment. 
  • PK-12 and PK-18 modules: These units can be retrofitted into module or cassette-based systems and will emit a large amount of gas phase media with zero off-gassing.
  • Positive Pressurization Unit (PPU): A self-contained air scrubbing system that provides pressurized or recirculated air free of corrosive gasses.

Contact Purafil to learn more about these products and other corrosion solutions.