Common Surfaces Likely Contaminating Your Environments
By Donald Markham
Whether you’re a food and beverage processor, a pharmaceutical lab, or operate any other type of facility with strict environmental controls, contamination makes a mess of things.
One of the main common causes for concern, when it shows up, is corrosion, which can be quite costly. In fact, NACE International appraised the global estimated cost of corrosion in 2013 at $2.5 trillion.
And since corrosion is caused in many ways, including exposure to electrical currents, oxygen, water, acids, salts, and warm temperatures, few facilities are safe from the contamination risks that follow.
The worst part?
Because corrosion is irreversible, replacement of corroded materials is often the only option, since failure to expel it from surroundings can contaminate the goods you produce and deliver. Furthermore, like adding salt to a wound, operations may even have to be stopped temporarily while fixing these issues, which can cause productivity, your reputation and bottom line to take a dip.
That’s why the most important question to ask oneself, in preventing contamination caused by corrosion, is: where could it possibly be spreading itself?
The answer may surprise you, if only because corrosion likes to show itself in plain sight, on the surface of common equipment that could be leaving your processes exposed!
EQUIPMENT GETTING EATEN AWAY
1. PRODUCTION MACHINERY
Many industrial plants end up creating the exact conditions that lead to corrosion. And once metal pieces of machinery start to corrode, there’s no stopping it. Not only does this lead to having to replace the corroded parts, but it also increases the likelihood of ongoing contamination. Knowing how corrosion works, it’s not the least bit surprising how often it likes to strike at the very heart and valves of production.
2. FREIGHT VEHICLES
Corrosion can also cause problems for freight vehicles by damaging the equipment’s electrical system. Once moisture gets into the wiring system, it can proceed down the entire length of the wire, which only makes the problem worse. And that’s not all, since, in all likelihood, corrosion may already be taking over exterior metallic surfaces which are likely to come into direct contact with current shipments.
3. ENTRANCE DOORS
Sanitization is critical, especially when you’re working in food and beverage or pharmaceutical industries. But rigorous sanitization requirements can lead to corrosion that rots conventional hollow metal and stainless steel doors from the inside out, making them defenseless against moisture, chemicals, and bacteria. And so, once corrosion is allowed to enter your doors freely, the only way to make sure it stays out is with doors that can’t be rotted.