Preventing Microbial Corrosion for LED Construction Lights

In extreme work locations, such as construction sites and industrial facilities, corrosion is a major issue. Salt, acidic rain and dirt are common sources of corrosion that create problems for LED Construction Lights.

On a microscopic level, some microbes can also contribute to corrosion. Called microbial or bio-corrosion, this type of degradation on surfaces can be stopped using powerful inhibitors, including benzalkonium chloride-based solutions.

Microbial Corrosion (MIC) 101

Bio-corrosion is caused by bacteria that thrive in both aerobic (oxygen rich) and anaerobic conditions, making such creatures resilient to rugged elements. Moreover, this type of corrosion affects metallic and non-metallic materials (plastics, concrete and nylon).

Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and iron-oxidizing bacteria are the top culprits associated with bio-corrosion. During corrosion, the microscopic organisms produce and release harmful secretions, which degrade the surface and promote oxidation.

Preventing Microbial Corrosion

In construction sites, microbial corrosion exists around stainless steel pipes and large tanks. Because of this, LED lighting systems around such locations must be properly maintained to prevent damage.

One of the most effective methods for protection is storing LED work lights in dry areas after usage. Watery elements in extreme work sites are known to carry corrosive microbes. Furthermore, it is important to fully drain LED lights before storage.

Wipe downs are also effective in deterring bio-corrosion. As mentioned earlier, operators may deploy chemical treatments to prevent bacteria from populating rapidly on surfaces.

Outside of construction sites, microbial corrosion is prevalent in industrial operations. For instance, aviation fueling sites are plagued with ‘HUM bugs’ (Cladosporium resinae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa), which can compromise rubber gaskets, corrosion-resistant coatings and o-ring components.

Underground pipelines and petrol-handling systems at oil and gas sites are also prone to bio-corrosion. Lastly, nuclear facilities that use copper-nickel or brass pipes are ideal locations for corrosion-causing microbes to populate.

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