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A copper-corrosion process of unknown origin was observed in the cold and warm water supplies shortly after commissioning a county hospital in Germany. The cause of the damage could be attributed to microbial-influenced corrosion (MIC). An evaluation of the damage showed that corrosion is most likely to occur in intensively branched, horizontal pipework during prolonged periods of stagnation. The influences of operating conditions and design installation on the corrosion process could not be separated.
The operating conditions and design installation can be separated in test rigs using the occurrence manifestation characteristics for this corrosion process as a measure for the likelihood of corrosion. After an induction period of 200 days the corrosion is most often found under intermittent and stagnant conditions in the test rigs. Furthermore, a seasonal influence can be observed. It was shown in experiments performed in the laboratory that it should be possible to considerably minimize this induction period found in the test rigs.
microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), copper, potable water
Junior scientist, Märkische Fachhochschule, Laboratory of Corrosion Protection, Iserlohn,
Senior scientist, Märkische Fachhochschule, Laboratory of Corrosion Protection, Iserlohn,
Senior scientist, Märkische Fachhochschule, Laboratory of Biotechnology, Iserlohn,