• Todd Olson

Jumping the Shark

Updated: Jul 27

"Jumping the shark" is a term used to describe attempts to draw attention to something that does not warrant the attention, especially something past its peak in quality or relevance. It's an apt description for outdated surface preparation/corrosion control methods that may once have been the best one could hope for in terms of mitigating corrosion, especially under coatings, but are now irrelevant, redundant and frankly, a waste of time, money and resources. In other words: lots of hype, little benefit.


MECHANICAL PICKLING/BLASTING These processes cannot eradicate all contaminants without compromising metal integrity. Repeated use of mechanical methods can erode the steel to the point where corrosion products are temporarily removed from the pits, but add appreciably to the cost of cleaning a surface. Mechanical methods are focused on visual cleanliness, not chemical hygiene. Mechanical removal techniques are not designed to remove the small micro-crystalline salt particles deposited on steel. Numerous instances have been cited where contamination remaining in the steel after mechanical cleaning quickly darken, and within a short period, start to re-rust.

RUST REMOVERS/SOLVENT CLEANING Rust removers change the molecular structure of surface rust only. Acidic compounds bond with iron oxide to change its chemical makeup. Weak acids dissolve and loosen crumbly hydrated iron oxide to form a soluble salt or replace it with a thin film of smooth hard oxide on the surface of the iron to help resist further hydrated oxidation. To dissolve soluble salts formed in this process, water or steam must penetrate and wet the surface containing the salts. The procedure works well to remove soluble salts from the rust layer, but exposes remaining strongly bonded salts and microcontaminants embedded in the surface to moisture needed to develop active corrosion cells.

INHIBITORS/METAL CONDITIONERS Corrosion inhibitors temporarily mask or retard flash rusting through the dilution of some, and the insulation of all, surface contaminants. These film-forming agents create a false positive by allowing the mechanisms that cause adhesion/coating failure to remain bonded to the substrate, leaving residues or films that can interfere with coating adhesion. These products create a false positive by temporarily masking the very failure mechanisms that eventually cause under film corrosion,

ALKALINE ETCH/ETCH PRIMERS Alkaline products leave behind alkaline salts that form corrosion sites. Acid etching and primers remove oxidation only. These products are neither designed or claim to decontaminate surfaces, but may remove flash rust. After etching, acid etch is rinsed with water to neutralize the surface. Water rinse exposes the surface to water, beginning the formation of cells in remaining contamination. Non-soluble sulfides, and a large portion of soluble salts, remain to create active corrosion reaction sites known to cause rust and pitting beneath acid primer.

DEHUMIDIFICATION Dehumidification processes are expensive and difficult to control. Dehumidification is used in an attempt to maintain visual white-clean standards just long enough to pass visual inspections for coating readiness. Dehumidification makes no attempt to remove water soluble chlorides or non-soluble sulfides.

Conventional surface preparation techniques, however conscientiously performed, are severely limited in terms of potential to eradicate detrimental soluble salts and non-soluble contaminants from surfaces to be coated, especially at the microscopic level. As the presence of interference materials and soluble salts, even in trace amounts, result in damaging corrosion cells forming beneath coatings, one must surmise that conventional surface preparation methods fail to provide optimal surface preparation results.


All the advertising hype in the world will not make conventional, passé technologies relevant again, nor allow them to compete with the results realized through cutting-edge metal decontamination technologies that offer true eradication of soluble salts, non-soluble sulfides and strongly bonded contaminants to prevent the formation of corrosion reactive sites that cause under film corrosion.


Biodegradable, health and safety conscious Corr-Ze is an entirely unique approach to metal decontamination that goes deep into pores and crevices between joints to solubize, react and disperse strongly bonded soluble salts, non-soluble sulfides and microcontaminants to produce extremely clean surfaces with zero ionic contaminants detected (determined by sensitive potassium ferricyanide testing) to improve the condition of metal substrates and create an optimally receptive surface proven to promote maximum coating adhesion and performance. Corr-Zt provides the reliable and rigorous metal hygiene required by the energy sector by breaking strong ionic/chemical bonds and removing microcontaminants from metal. Corr-Z is coating neutral; it leaves no film or residue to interfere with coating adhesion. Corr-Zt easily and optimally stabilizes metal surfaces (this is important as incorrect passivation is known to induce corrosion.)


Corr-Z metal hygiene results exceed even the most stringent SSPC/NACE standards because decontamination beyond the visual standard improves metal hygiene at the microscopic level, eradicating soluble salts and non-soluble sulfides to prevent formation of corrosion cells and reactive sites.

Corr-Z efficacy has been verified by advanced imaging and Scanning Electron Microscopic (SEM), and confirmed through isolated field experiment, multiple aggressive laboratory testing and field results including project inspections after decades of service showing absolutely no corroson or coating failure. Cathodic disbondment tests provide empirical evidence that Corr-Z is superior to all current practices. Potassium ferricyanide testing further confirms Corr-Z metal hygiene claims.

Corr-Z creates superior receptive metal surfaces that promote optimal coating adhesion and performance. Corr-Z level of hygiene also enhances weld sites and reduces puddling issues by removing interference materials. For example, side by side case studies on identically coated pipes subjected to the same harsh environment demonstrated no corrosion or coating failure in Corr-Z treated pipe compared to non-treated pipes which required four separate repair incidents over the eleven-year observation period. Less investment in terms of time and consumables, lower vulnerability to incidence of corrosion damage equate to long term economic benefits.

#CORROSION #technology #relevant #comparison