How the Natural Gas Distribution Industry Conquers Corrosion

How the Natural Gas Distribution Industry Conquers Corrosion

How the Natural Gas Distribution Industry Conquers Corrosion

Creating an efficient and long-lasting product is the end goal for manufacturers. While every industry experiences obstacles that may interfere with fulfilling this prophecy, not every industry goes to such great lengths to deter the effects of them. When it comes to corrosion on parts surrounding the gas meter, the natural gas distribution industry is no stranger to investing in corrosion prevention and repairs. After all, too much is at stake when the longevity of a gas part is compromised.

Atmospheric corrosion is the deterioration and destruction of a material and its vital properties. This is due to electrochemistry as well as other reactions caused from the atmosphere surrounding the material. Discoloration, rust, pitting, and cracking are examples of corrosion.

A large portion of a manufacturer’s job is factoring in the possibility of corrosion, especially when metal-based material is involved. If this isn’t taken into account, rust can take over the product, significantly lowering its lifespan. In the natural gas distribution industry in particular, this is a major concern as the steel or iron parts are vulnerable to a low-level electrical current that can accelerate corrosion. From there, rust and degradation can wear down the part sooner rather than later. This can mean leaving the part vulnerable to potential leaks, safety issues, and a loss of curb appeal.

In order to address and reduce the effects of corrosion on gas parts, the gas distribution industry is determined to find answers. In fact, in one year alone, a total of $5 million was spent on corrosion prevention and repairs, according to NACE International (National Association of Corrosion Engineers). Such research and tests over time have allowed experts to come to the following conclusion in regards to common corrosion sources and what steps can be taken to reduce them:


Common Corrosion Sources

How Corrosion Effects Can Be Reduced

Normal atmospheric weathering such as rain, fog, blowing dirt, and debris

Coatings and paints

Ground moisture

Plastic materials and coatings

Coastal salt spray

Premium coating with regular upkeep

Electrochemical reactions through connected materials

Insulated ends and coatings

Oxidizing conditions

Proper application of coatings


Taking the topic a step further, the industry has also been able to utilize certain tests that measure the success of corrosion resistance, with common ones listed below:


  • Salt Spray Test per ASTM B117
    As the most common ASTM standard test for the job, the Salt Spray Test works by first placing the material in a salt fog chamber. Next, a 5% NaCl solution is atomized at 95°F with a neutral pH of 6.5-7.2. The parts are kept in a continuous fog without touching any other metallic or corrosive material. The materials are checked periodically for rust or decay through the test duration as determined by the manufacturer. See below for the results of A.Y. McDonald’s Salt Spray Test.

  • Water Immersion Test per ASTM A967
    The Water Immersion Test involves repeatedly submersing a sample in water and drying in order to check for rust and corrosion. Once again, testing duration is determined by the manufacturer.


  • High Humidity Test per ASTM A967
    In order to perform the High Humidity Test, the material must be placed in 95-100% humidity at temperatures greater than 100°F for 24 hours to check for rust.



In severe circumstances, when corrosion meets a natural gas distribution part, the lifespan of the product can go downhill. Knowing this, ample amount of research and resources have been put toward rectifying the industry-wide issue. A.Y. McDonald does our part by applying coatings to our products that reduce the effects of corrosion, as previously mentioned. This would include paint, hot dip galvanizing, zinc plating that’s commonly enhanced with chromate over-coatings and additional sealants, and additional paint over-coatings. In addition, we continue to take corrosion prevention seriously by performing tests such as the Salt Spray Test.

For a more in-depth take on the topic of corrosion and gas parts, along with how to prevent the effects, make sure to complete the ‘Gas Product Coatings and Corrosion’ AYU course. Reach out to our customer service department at 1-800-292-2737 or fill out a contact us form to further learn how A.Y. McDonald addresses corrosion on our products.