Anda di halaman 1dari 15

AN INVESTIGATION REPORT ON THE FAILURE OF MAKKAH-TAIF WATER TRANSMISSION SYSTEM

Dr. Anees U. Malik Research & Development Center Saline Water Conversion Corporation P.O.Box 8328, Al-Jubail -31951, Saudi Arabia Tel: + 966-3-343 0333, Fax: + 966-3-343 1615 Email: rdc@swcc.gov.sa March 1989 INTRODUCTION

Makkah- Taif Water Transmission line is about 140 km long. Water is transmitted from Shoiba (Pumping Station 1, PSI), in 2 pipelines A and B (56" diameter each) to PSII near Makkah about. 97 km away. From PSII, the water is carried to Taif through a single 42" diameter line (Line C). Makkah- Taif Water Transmission System was commissioned in 1988 (Line A&B: end of May 1988 & Line C: end of Aug 1988). The underground water transmission lines have inside cement-mortar lining on carbon steel pipes except at the pumping stations where the pipes have epoxy lining.

During my two visits to MTWTS pipe lines (A and B at PSI in April 1989 for inspection, the water was drained off and I went inside the pipe lines and carried out a thorough examination of the lines covering various distribution lines and valve systems. I also examined closely the valve systems under open and close positions. Epoxy lining and corrosion product samples were collected from the different locations of the pipe lines and valve systems and were analyzed subsequently in the Lab. OBSERVATIONS Epoxy Lining The pipelines have inside polyamide-cured epoxy lining at the pumping stations otherwise, the whole lengths of buried transmission lines have inside cement-mortar lining. The erosion or deterioration of the epoxy is widely distributed but not continuous. It is predominant at the joints of pipelines and still more at the areas in the vicinity of the valves. The disturbed areas of lining are identified either by the appearance of innumerable small bubbles/blisters and/or cluster of reddish brown corrosion products. The reddish brown corrosion product is

identified as the mixture of FeO (OH) and Fe3O4. On breaking the bubble with a pointed edge of a screwdriver or a knife, the underneath paint is peeled off easily exposing a black surface which is identified as Fe3O4. In some areas of pipe wall lining, the whole lining has come out and the dark brown and reddish brown corrosion products have covered the entire space.

During the examination of epoxy lining inside the pipes it was observed that two kinds of epoxy paints were used, the one was of white and the other was off green. The latter seems to be less deteriorated than the former. The off white -and off green -linings are solvent and thermally applied respectively. I have been told that the two paints have been supplied by two different manufactures. No further information was available regarding the chemical compositions and other specifications of the two-epoxy paints.

Some photographs taken by ILF, the Consulting Engineers revealing the blisters and spread of corrosion in the epoxy lining are shown in Figure 1 to 7. Valve System On inspecting the valve systems (in the open and close positions) in Lines A and B at PSI, enormous corrosion attach was revealed invariably on the valve body, valve seat and ball plug bore edge. In at least one case, the ball itself was deeply corroded. Dark brown and reddish brown deposits of the corrosion products were found at the internal surface of the valve body and the ball plug bore edge. The reddish brown product (identified as the mixture of FeOOH, Fe2O3 and Fe3O4) on ball plug bore edge are copious and easily exfoliable. The dark brown corrosion product with greenish yellow inclusions found inside the valve body are identified as the mixture of Fe2O3, Cr2O3 and FeO.OH. The corrosion deposits also contain 0.12- 0.36% CI- It was not possible to get access to the product water analysis records (specially pH and CI- ) of the last one year. On rubbing off the corrosion products from the valve body and ball plug bore edge, rough surface containing lot of cavities was obtained. At some locations, there is a strong apprehension of pit formation. Precise information regarding the composition of the valve materials is not available but most probably the valve body and ball plug bore edge are made of cast iron and cast steel, respectively, and the ball is of hard chrome plated steel.

Some photographs (courtesy: ILF) taken at the sites reveal the severity of corrosion of the valve system (Fig. 8 to 19). RESUL TS & DISCUSSION Epoxy Lining The properties of the epoxy coating derive both from the type and molecular weight of the epoxy resin and from the copolymer-curing agent (polyamide) that is used to cross link with it. In general, polyamide-cured coating has good moisture resistance and excellent adhesion over steel and concrete. Polyamide-cured epoxies have been widely used as industrial and marine maintenance coatings. The polyamide-epoxy lining can be applied either using a water-soluble organic solvent (hydrophilic) or by heating (thermally treated). The off white epoxy material used in pipe lining is a polyamide-cured epoxy applied inside the steel pipe surface using a hydrophilic solvent like n-butanol or n-propyl glycol. The solvent present at the steel/lining interface evaporates resulting in the formation of blisters or bubbles inside the paint. A large number of bubbles are therefore appeared inside the epoxy lining. The dissolved oxygen and water permeate through the bubble. The bubble is subsequently broken and the steel is exposed to water and oxygen. An electrochemical cell is established and in consequence, corrosion occurs giving rise to corrosion products like FeOOH. Fe2O3 and Fe3O4. The voluminous corrosion products underneath the bulged and crack coating produce local stresses resulting in the emanation of the reddish brown products through lining. Due to exposition of the pipe to high turbulence in the vicinity of the valve or at the joints, the bubbles are bursted exposing directly the steel to water and oxygen and therefore, corrosion attack is much more aggressive at these locations. This type of attack is characterized by a cluster or cobweb like pattern and may be named as Filiform Corrosion. Under he present conditions, with increasing operational time, the increase in the intensity and magnitude of the corrosion of the pipe line would be phenomenal resulting in the replacement of lining with the corrosion products. This has been observed in some locations of the pipeline.

The application of liquid in the polyamide-cured epoxy lining seems to be the main reason for the unsatisfactory performance of the lining. In existing conditions, the use of thermally applied lining perhaps would have been more appropriate. There is no information about the chemical formulation of the polyamide-cured epoxy lining used in MTWTS, However,

specially formulated polyamide-cured epoxies are now available which have the capability to displace water. From the substrate surface. Such materials can even be applied and cured Underwater to form corrosion-resistant coatings.

Valve System The valve body, ball plug bore edge and the balls were found moderate to heavy corroded. The corrosion is uniform and scales are easily exfoliable. Exposure of valve system to stagnant water at some stage of operation might have provided conditions for the corrosion or alternatively, mechanical non-alignment of the valve system to the pipeline might have created conditions favorable for initiation of corrosion. Crevices/gaps between ball plugs bore edge and polyamide coating on one side and ball plug bore edge and internal valve body on the other side seem to be ideal sites for corrosion. The water is held up between the gaps/crevices and caused corrosion of ball plug bore edge and internal valve body surface. Since ball plug bore edge is more corroded initially it acts as a cathode in the later stage and therefore, caused enormous corrosion of valve body. Cavities formed as a result of the exfoliation of the corrosion products are the attractive sites for local corrosion and this would further aggravate the situation.

The probable materials used for the valve systems (cast steel and cast iron) are perhaps not able to cope with the mildly corrosive environment sustaining in the stagnant pipe line otherwise the effect of corrosion would not have been so deleterious. CONCLUSIONS Epoxy Lining The failure of the epoxy lining may be attributed to the use of liquid-applied polyamide-cured epoxy material. This has resulted in the blistering of lining and subsequent corrosion. Valve System

The severe corrosion attack on valve system is initiated either due to the exposure of valve system to stagnant water at some stage of operation or due to mechanical non alignment of the valve system and the pipe line. If former is the cause of corrosion then this attack would have been prevented by the use of better valve materials.

RECOMMENDATIONS Epoxy Lining The replacement of the existing liquid-applied polyamide-cured epoxy lining by a thermally applied one would have been the best course. However, this provision seems to be almost impracticable. Therefore, the measures should be taken to replace the existing lining with a different epoxy material that has a formidable capability to displace water from the substrate (steel pipe) surface.

Valve System

Competent design/mechanical experts should test the mechanical alignment of all the valves and their working. If the system is malfunctioning then acting up on expert's opinion appropriate action could be taken. Considering the severity of corrosion, the best course will be to replace all the valves of the pipelines by new valves of superior materials and better mechanical specifications. Alternatively, all the valves may be cleaned and cleared from the corrosion products and then performance should be watched for 2-3 months on a trial basis till a final decision regarding the replacement is being taken.

Figure 1. Formation of blisters/bubbles in epoxy-lined MTTS at PSII

Figure 4. Appearance of corrosion products emanated from the bubbles in epoxy lined Pipeline A at PS 1.

Figure 3. Cluster/cobweb like appearance of corrosion products in epoxy lined pipeline A at PS-I

Figure 2. Severe corrosion in the epoxy lined pipe line A at PSI at the locations near the valve.

Fig. 5. Corrosion on the walls of epoxy lined pipe line A

Fig. 6. Poorly adhered epoxy lining came out on application of pointed edge of screw driver

Fig. 7. Off green color epoxy lining usually does not show bubble/blister formation

Fig. 8. a typical photograph showing corrosion of (a) ball plug bore edge and (b) internal surface of valve body

Fig. 9. Corrosion of ball valve MOV-1569A in epoxy lined to Fig. 11 pipe A at PS I.

Fig.10. Corrosion of ball valve MOV-1569A in epoxy lined to Fig. 11 pipe A at PS I.

Fig. 11. Corrosion of ball valve MOV-1569A in epoxy lined to Fig. 11 pipe A at PS I.

Fig. 12 Corrosion at ball plug bore edge isolation valve SV 01 at PS I line A

Fig. 13a.

Condition of corroded valve (ball plug bore edge and internal surface of valve body) after clearance of corrosion products by means of power brush

Fig. 13.b

Condition of corroded valve (ball plug bore edge) after clearance Of corrosion products by means of power brush

Fig. 14. Photograph showing internal surface of valve body in corroded SV-01 Isolation valve in PSI line A (a)

Fig. 15. Photograph showing condition of corroded valve (SV-01) in close position. Chrome polished surface of the ball shows reflection

Fig. 16. Corroded ball valve MOV-2501 (partially closed): Suction line isolation Valve PS II line A; valve body corroded

Fig. 17. Corroded ball valve MOV-2501 (opened): Suction line isolation valve PS II line A; full internal surface view of the corroded body.

Fig. 18. Corrosion of discharge line isolation ball valve MOV-2501 (closed position): PS II line A; Note the corrosion of chrome polished ball.

Fig. 19. Same as above, Closer view of corroded ball shows deposition of oxides