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Revision Date: April 03, 2012
Updated On: April 04, 2012
This practice provides a methodology for measuring the duration of wetness on a sensing element mounted on a surface in a location of interest. Experience has shown that the sensing element reacts to factors that cause wetness in the same manner as the surface on which it is mounted.
Surface moisture plays a critical role in the corrosion of metals and the deterioration of nonmetallics. The deposition of moisture on a surface can be caused by atmospheric or climatic phenomena such as direct precipitation of rain or snow, condensation, the deliquescence (or at least the hygroscopic nature) of corrosion products or salt deposits on the surface, and others. A measure of atmospheric or climatic factors responsible for moisture deposition does not necessarily give an accurate indication of the TOW. For example, the surface temperature of an object may be above or below both the ambient and the dew point temperatures. As a result condensation will occur without an ambient meteorological indication that a surface has been subjected to a condensation cycle.
Structural design factors and orientation can be responsible for temperature differences and the consequent effect on TOW as discussed in 4.2. As a result, some surfaces may be shielded from rain or snow fall; drainage may be facilitated or prevented from given areas, and so forth. Therefore various components of a structure can be expected to perform differently depending on mass, orientation, air flow patterns, and so forth. A knowledge of TOW at different points on large structures can be useful in the interpretation of corrosion or other testing results.
In order to improve comparison of data obtained from test locations separated on a macrogeographical basis, a uniform orientation of sensor elements boldly exposed in the direction of the prevailing wind, at an angle of 30° above the horizontal is recommended. Elevation of the sensor above ground level should be recorded.
Although this method does not develop relationships between TOW and levels of ambient relative humidity (RH), long term studies have been carried out to show that the TOW experienced annually by panels exposed under standard conditions is equivalent to the cumulative time the RH is above a given threshold value. This time value varies with location and with other factors. Probability curves have been developed for top and bottom surfaces of a standard panel at one location which show the probable times that a surface will be wet as a percentage of the cumulative time the relative humidity is at specific levels. If needed, it should be possible to develop similar relationships to deal with other exposure conditions.