The Economic Impact of Corrosion

December 13, 2017 / by Mindy Kruggel

Every minute of every day, there is a war occurring at a level not visible with a microscope. It’s a battle between vulnerable—and extremely valuable—equipment and the natural elements bent on destroying the equipment. It’s a battle between metal and the process of oxidation. Corrosion. It’s no joke. Rather, it’s a constant scourge that must be met with the best corrosion control technology available. Otherwise, equipment and vehicles degrade in years instead of decades, and your bottom line suffers. It’s one thing to talk in generalities. But let’s get more specific. What, exactly, is the economic impact of corrosion?

Direct and Indirect Costs

Corrosion is a natural process. Iron and steel simply combine with other chemical elements, mainly the oxygen and hydrogen in water, to form hydrated iron oxides (rust), similar in chemical composition to the original iron ore. The costs of corrosion are both direct, in that corrosion affects the useful service lives of any business’s vehicles or equipment, and indirect, in that producers and suppliers of goods and services incur corrosion costs, which they pass on. The useful life of manufacturing equipment is decreased by corrosion[1] and maintenance costs and maintenance cycles are increased.

The Global Cost of Corrosion

According to NACE International’s IMPACT report, the numbers on the economic impact of corrosion are startling. The global cost of corrosion in 2013, the most recent numbers available, is estimated to be US$2.5 trillion, which is equivalent to 3.4% of the global GDP. By using available corrosion control practices, it is estimated that savings of between 15 and 35% of the cost of corrosion could be realized. It is particularly surprising to note these costs typically do not include individual safety or environmental consequences.[2]

Corrosion has been on ongoing battle for the oil & gas industry, automotive manufacturers, pipelines, the Department of Defense, and wind energy and machine tool manufacturers. Because of factors such as near misses, incidents, forced shutdowns and accidents, these industry segments have come to realize that the lack of corrosion management can be very costly and that, through proper corrosion management, significant cost savings can be achieved over the lifetime of an asset.[3]

The ROI of Corrosion Control

Corrosion control provides a cost benefit to the businesses that meet the challenge head-on. It’s a lesson learned over and over again by industries in every sector. A recent study commissioned by the U.S. military has proven a 19:1 return on investment when protective covers are used properly. Fortunately, new technologies to combat corrosion are available to prevent costly equipment loss and accidents.

At the core, Transhield protects equipment against the forces of nature by providing the most advanced protective cover technology in the industry, conducting in-depth research on corrosion, and managing the entire protection process, start to finish. The middle layer of a Transhield cover has a patented adhesive layer where the hot melt can contain vapor corrosion inhibitors. Learn more today by visiting







Transhield is the maker of custom protective coverings for the industrial, marine, military, automotive, and wind energy markets. Our corporate offices are located in Elkhart, Indiana where we design and render custom covers as well as engineer and test new fabric formulas in our state-of-the-art laboratory.


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