Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Learning New Tricks and an old novel

Last October I took a trip down to Red Deer, AB and spent 2 weeks trying to absorb information presented by two NACE (type that into Google and then click on NACE International and it will be explained) Level 3 Inspectors. Despite having been away from the business of fabrication for 28 years I managed, somehow, to pass the Level 1 course the first week and then, lo and behold, Level 2 the next week. I am therefore a NACE Certified Level 2 Coating Inspector.
            Just goes to prove you CAN teach an old dog a new trick.
            There is a need apparently since some of the coating manufacturers are finding that their products may or may not have been applied as recommended. If they should fail and item they are supposed to protect fails who is responsible, the fabricator, applicator or manufacturer? Was material substandard before fabrication?
            On the first day of the first course, during the introduction to Level 1 an explanation of Corrosion and its costs were outlined. For example, a 1998 study shows that 3.1% of the US gross domestic product was lost to corrosion. As a percentage that doesn’t sound like a great deal but expressed as a dollar value the loss was $276 billion.
Worse than the cost factor, however is the safety factor. Pipelines often contain volatile materials, sometime in a gaseous state. They are usually built for several decades of service with engineered safety factors far in excess of the expected lifetime. Despite those built in safety factors they often fail and it is most often due to corrosion which might be caused by failure of the pipe or the coating or unexpected changes in atmospheric conditions.
So the need for coating inspectors in manufacturing, shipping, both off-shore and on-shore petroleum production, in the transport of those petro-chemical products, in bridges and in critical concrete construction.
The information required to be a NACE Level 2 Inspector is not the type of thing I use in writing a novel, singing a song or hauling Diesel around the country. However I’m looking forward to using that information and my Positector.

Speaking of novels, I’m hoping my first novel, “The Great Liquor War” will be available once again by June or July. Right now I have Tracy Wandling (www.tracywandling.com/) working on a new cover design.