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Texas A&M Launches Corrosion Center

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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Today's professionals and tomorrow's recruits in the war on corrosion, especially in the oil and gas sector, will have the help of a new national corrosion center focusing on the field's science and technology.

Texas A&M University has established the National Corrosion Center (NCC) in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

The center, approved by the Board of Regents, will focus on corrosion research and technologies that will add to the university's developing, multidisciplinary programs in material science and engineering.

"The NCC is the most comprehensive corrosion center in the world and provides new materials, mitigation strategies, and life prediction tools through research, education, training, and testing," the center says.

Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

The National Corrosion Center bills itself as "the most comprehensive corrosion center in the world." Its focus will include corrosion in the oil and gas industry.

Metal corrosion is a $276 billion-a-year problem in the United States, the Federal Highway Admnistration has estimated. That tab, which reflects direct costs only, accounts for 3.1 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

The good news, according to FHWA: Implementing sound engineering practices could slash that cost by 30 percent.

"This center is a shining example of our system's unique ability to solve substantial problems and serve the needs of the nation," said John Sharp, Texas A&M University System Chancellor.

Serving Oil & Gas

Corrosion research and training centers are limited when it comes to addressing complex corrosion issues in the oil and gas industry—Texas' largest industrial sector, according to the university.

National Corrosion Center - TEES

The National Corrosion Center will help educate and train corrosion experts and assist the private and government sectors in materials infrastructure needs.

"There is a clear need for an internationally recognized corrosion center in Texas that educates and trains the next generation of corrosion experts and assists industries and agencies in materials infrastructure needs," said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, TEES director and vice chancellor and dean of engineering at Texas A&M.

Demand for corrosion professionals, particularly in certain industrial sectors such as oil and gas, has exceeded the supply provided by existing centers and programs.

Other Partners

The new center expands an initiative that Rice University founded in 2008 with the support of NACE International. Bringing the center under the TEES banner will allow NCC to leverage ongoing advancements in materials research in the Texas A&M University System, organizers said.

But Rice, as well as other schools and the private sector, will remain key players in the project.

Goshen Bridge - before restoration Goshen Bridge - After restoration

Metal corrosion in the U.S. carries $276.1 billion in direct costs, according to the Federal Highway Administration. A historic restoration project in 2002 saved the 110-year-old Goshen Bridge in Goshen, VA, which was failing from corrosion.

The center will "harness the technical and academic strengths of the A&M System and Rice University, the training and workforce development capability of Houston Community College, and the technology and financial resources of Houston's industrial base," officials said.

The center's executive director will be Dr. S. Ray Taylor, a metallurgist scientist with TEES.

Said Banks, "This fits precisely within the TEES mission to foster innovation in research, education and technology, transfer that support and aid business and industrial communities, and enhance the economic development of Texas and the nation."


Tagged categories: Bridges; Corrosion; Corrosion protection; Education; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); Oil and Gas; Research

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