Published: Jan 2005
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MUCH OF THE underground infrastructure in the United States was constructed after World War II in the 1950s and '60s, and many of these structures, such as pipelines, utilities, and storage tanks, are approaching the end of their useful life. Thus, there is an increased need for data on the underground corrosion performance of materials used in these structures. The ideal measurement would nondestructively provide information on how much a structure has deteriorated and how rapidly this deterioration is occurring. With this information, engineers can predict the expected lifetime of a structure. With present day techniques, we can measure the rate of corrosion of an underground structure, but we lack a nonintrusive method that provides information on the extent of accumulated damage. Controlled tests are one way that data on accumulated damage can be obtained, and it is for this reason that this type of test is useful. This section on field measurements will concentrate on the types of underground corrosion measurements that can be made in controlled and uncontrolled conditions, with an emphasis on controlled site testing.
Corrosion Consultant, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD