Corrosion Inspection of Telecommunication Structures

Nowadays, wireless communication has become an essential part of networking for businesses, navigation systems, defense systems, and social services such as police, firefighters, and ambulances. Structural integrity of telecommunication towers is the key to ensure reliable communication; nonetheless, these structures are constantly under corrosion attack. In fact, underground corrosion is identified as one of the main causes for structural failure and collapse of telecom towers.

MATERGENICS provides corrosion inspection/monitoring services, and corrosion risk assessment for different types of telecom structures including:

  • Guyed-wire towers,
  • Self-supporting towers,
  • Tapered steel monopols.

corroded_anchor_shaft
Structural corrosion and critical material loss at anchor shafts of a guyed telecom tower.

If corrosion is not detected and mitigated at its early stages, shortly it will lead to expensive refurbishment of corroded members, while in a longer time it can affect tower safety and increased risk for injuries, and fatalities. Periodic corrosion inspection and risk assessment is a cost-effective method to bring certainty to core asset safety.

INSPECTION STAGES

MATERGENICS’ corrosion inspection for telecom structure, involves three different stages:

Desk Study

Prior to site visits and field measurements, based on the project requirements, a desk study must performed to complete the following tasks:

  • Review of geotechnical reports,
  • Review of structural drawings,
  • Review of previous reports on corrosion inspection, maintenance/repair, and all other relevant information including service history.

Field Survey

Our NACE certified inspectors collect the key corrosion indicator data at tower base and anchor footings, and perform site-specific tests to characterize the service environment, including:

  • Soil-to-structure electrochemical potential mapping,
  • Soil resistivity tests (ASTM G57 and ASTM G187),
  • Soil pH tests,
  • Cathodic protection current requirement tests,
  • Visual inspection of underground members,
  • Coating inspection and dimensional measurements,
  • Concrete inspection and hardness test (ASTM C805),
  • Photographic documentation of all tests.


Laboratory Investigations

Collected samples during site visits must be examined in a controlled environment to identify:

  • Soil contamination concentration,
  • Microbiologically induced corrosion,
  • Root cause determination.

Documentation & Reporting

All inspection findings and recommendations are included in a comprehensive report, that includes:

  • Corrosion risk factor (CRF) for individual structures,
  • Recommend corrosion mitigation methods such as cathodic protection,
  • Remedial actions,
  • Engineering analysis and repair recommendations.

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