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The Cost of corrosion

You will find mentions across the website citing the global monetary cost of corrosion. Since the first study conducted by NACE International in the 1970s, all investigations have shown that corrosion costs our global economy about 3-4% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For example, according to NACE International, in 2002, "Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States, backed by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, estimated annual costs at the time of $276 billion." The cost is higher in economies that rely on the energy and resources industries as the environments in those human activities are among the most corrosive.

International Cost of Corrosion reports indicate that a considerable portion of the cost could be reduced by implementing existing corrosion and materials knowledge. What studies to date have not been able to quantify are the environmental and societal impacts of the problem.

It is always a good exercise to think about the things we replace every year because of corrosion!

What can we do to mitigate the impact of corrosion?

At the Curtin Corrosion Centre, we believe that education—especially at the secondary or high-school level—is instrumental.

Corrosion and materials education in high-schools

Corrosion education has traditionally been restricted to the final years of selected engineering degrees. Often, engineering students graduate with a rudimentary knowledge of corrosion and materials degradation in general. In most instances, moreover, corrosion is not the main factor in driving investment and design considerations. As a result, corrosion is addressed reactively when a problem arises.

At the Curtin Corrosion Centre, we recognise we are responsible for contributing to a broader recognition of the impact of corrosion in our communities, the environment, and society.

We are, thus, committed to developing educational programs for high-school educators and students to bring corrosion and materials science education to the classroom. If you are a high-school teacher and would like to teach corrosion and materials in your school, please contact us.

Helping communities to reduce the cost of corrosion

The impact of corrosion is more readily visible in underprivileged communities. Often, simple and inexpensive solutions can reduce corrosion problems and recurrent costs. For example, proper materials selection of water piping and fittings, maintenance of water heaters, adequate treatment of vehicles and roofs can extend the life of assets, improve the quality of life, and reduce costs.

At the Curtin Corrosion Centre, we are here to help. We encourage community leaders, legislators, religious, volunteering, and non-for-profit organisations to get in touch today.

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