Bacteriological corrosion or microbiological influenced corrosion (MIC) is a threatening type of corrosion and is nowadays a major problem, mainly manifesting itself throughout all harbours, waterways and canals worldwide.
This year, the book “Biocorrosion” will be reissued in second printing to further highlight this issue.
“The urgency to take steps now is crucial. Infrastructures alongside waterways, canals and harbours pressingly need protection against corrosion,” says Wim Schalley, CEO of the Acotec company.
The issue in the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal (a canal connecting Belgium and The Netherlands), recently published in the media, had been observed already 15 years ago by Acotec, a Belgian company on a global scale offering innovative and sustainable solutions in order to handle all types of corrosion.
This research was comprehensively analysed in the book ‘Biocorrosion’, co-written by Wim Schalley, CEO of Acotec. Back then, the research was a collaboration with Ghent University (UGent) (ref. Biocorrosion, Prof. Dr Johan Mertens, Dr Lynda Beladjal, Wim Schalley).
At that time, it was stated together with UGent that this forming of corrosion could cause serious damage. Bacteriological corrosion can give rise to subsidence of the concrete and iron structures, which consequently can trigger considerable economic damage. Boats and ships avoid these canals and renovation costs can go sky high.
The Flemish authorities have immediately taken action. Steel sheet piles on the Flemish side of the canal were successfully treated with Humidur, a sustainable anti-corrosion coating by Acotec, leading to proven results for projects all over the world. These treated locations are protected thanks to the patented DZI cofferdam system of Acotec, which allows for coating under water.
Currently, the same effects of bacteriological corrosion are observed on the Dutch side of the canal. The steel sheet piles over there have not yet been treated.
The impact of this on the canal at the Flemish side will be limited, but the forming of corrosion in the harbour and at the Dutch side of the canal is inevitable.
“There is no cause for panic, but the time has come to act. All too often, important infrastructures collapse or break down due to wrong maintenance decisions,” says Wim Schalley, CEO of Acotec.