Corrosion Costs and the Future

Corrosion Costs and the Future

The following is an abstract from, “Now is the Time,” a paper presented by George F. Hays, PE, Director General, Word Corrosion Organization.


“At US 1.8 trillion, the annual cost of corrosion worldwide is over 3% of the world’s GDP.  Yet, governments and industries pay little attention to corrosion except in high-risk areas like aircraft and pipelines.  Now is the time for corrosion professionals to join together to educate industry, governments, and the public.  Now is the time to work together to harmonize standards and practices around the world and to communicate and share corrosion mitigation technologies.  Now is the time to make a major impact to protect the environment preserve resources, and protect our fellow human beings.”

Additional Cost of Corrosion

Published on June 1st, 2011 by Admin in Metallurgical Services – Cost of corrosion to exceed $1 Trillion in the United States in 2012

With little fanfare or notice, a significant milestone in the effect of corrosion on the U.S. economy is projected to occur in 2012 when the total cost of corrosion in the US exceeds $ 1 trillion annually for the first time.  In a widely cited study (NACE Corrosion Costs Study) by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, NACE, the total direct cost of corrosion in the U.S. was estimated to equal $276 Billion in 1998, approximately 3.1% of the GDP. However, this estimate is a bit outdated now and closer examination of the NACE data indicates that corrosion costs in the U.S. are now approaching $1 trillion dollars, and will likely pass that unfortunate milestone in 2012 if they have not already.  So how do we get to $1 trillion from $276 Billion?

First, the math:

In 1998, the direct cost of corrosion was 3.1% of the GDP of the  $11.7 Trillion.  This is the oft-cited number referred to in the NACE cost of corrosion study.

In 2011, the direct cost of corrosion was 3.1% of the $15.1 Trillion U.S. GDP in 2011 is now equal to $468.1 Billion.

According to the 1998 NACE study, the indirect cost of corrosion is conservatively estimated to be equal to or greater than the direct cost.  If the indirect cost is also 3.1% of GDP, then the total cost of corrosion (6.2% of GDP) will be more than $1 Trillion by the end of 2012.  However, in a slightly less conservative case where indirect costs are slightly more than GDP, then the total of indirect and direct corrosion costs would have already passed $1 Trillion as of mid-2011.

Compelling Information: Molecular Anti Corrosion

The most compelling reason to use MAC S11 or MAC A30 as the very first coating/treatment in all and any application to totally staunch/inhibit oxidation/ rust at the actual source can be drawn in a ‘simple to understand analogy’ in medical terms for the treatment of a highly infectious/septic, life-threatening, diseased wound.

In the case of a wound, the source of infection must first be treated. The source must be reached with the most ‘potent antiseptic’ that is available as a matter of urgency.  This means to treat both above and below the surface.  There is no amount of bandage, regardless or the expert application, that is capable of handling the source of infection.  Although the infection may be covered, in time  the infection will ooze through and around the bandage.  In the case of MAC S11 and MAC A30 , they are both the most potent and effective of all ‘premium antiseptics’ that actually kill off the infection and nullify it at the originating source. MAC S11 and MAC A30 are not ‘bandage’ treatments but rather the most advanced, scientifically proven total inhibitors of rust and corrosion at the source.

Current market products and surface treatments are bandages, temporary patches and often requiring costly expert and exacting surface preparation and application by specialists and all those with very limited longevity of the treatment.

Approvals meeting US EPA regulations, EU Regulations and 18 + months of stringent field-testing have already been completed. (Data Available)

Macglobal Innovacion International

The MAC International Product/System is ‘flag-shipped’ by its revolutionary, fully developed, fully tested ‘penetrate coatings’ known commercially as MAC S11 (homogenized/clear) coatings; and its sister coating MAC A30 which is non-homogenized and is aluminum in color finish.

MAC S11 and MAC A30 were developed with the knowledge, that unless you can totally remove all traces oxygen and moisture from the sub-strata of the metal in a coating application, the treatment is merely covering up and hiding the corrosion or rust problem until it manifests itself; unseen below the coating until it eventually breaks through the coating allowing further ingresses of moisture, oxygen and other pollutants and corrosive materials to corrupt the exposed metal surface.

MAC S11 an MAC A30 have been highly developed and engineered to be able to actually penetrate the sub-strata of the metal’s surface and in so doing, exude or force all the moisture and oxygen from the metal sub-strata.   Without those two elements (MOISTURE AND OXYGEN), rust or oxidization is not possible.

During the actual application of the MAC S11 or the MAC A30 coatings, the penetrating process is instantaneous and once the moisture and oxygen has been forced out of the pores in the sub-strata, the coating remains in the actual pores and then cures and hardens to set up a myriad of inverted anchors within the sub-strata and the remainder of the coating that is on the metal lattice (surface) is then anchored and firmly adhered to the metal surface.  Mere surface adhesion is dramatically enhanced with this process and eliminates delamination of the MAC coating and subsequent coatings.

Once cured, the MAC coatings retain their suppleness and do not become brittle or fragile and in so doing act in concert with the coefficient of the host metal so the effects of expansion and contraction, flexing or bending, vibration and other factors which normally cause delamination of most other coatings does not exist with MAC.

Most other coatings require a very high degree of surface preparation, which is very costly and very time consuming when one considers the cost of removal, containment and disposal of the existing coatings.   In an after market environment, the manufacture’s surface preparation requirement or specification of other coatings is not physically achievable resulting for the most part in short term treatment and/or early failure and recurrence of rust and corrosion.   In addition, in most cases, other coatings require a very exacting application technique and waste factors are high, very high in some cases and do not function as molecular.

MAC coatings require little or nil surface preparation and once cured are compatible with most other secondary or tertiary coatings which may be specified to combat other corrosive/erosive elements such as abrasion, impact or the ingress of corrosive pollutants.

MAC coatings are also very easy to apply and are a single component coating system which eliminates a whole raft of problems normally associated with the actual application of other coatings such as, but not limited to; over mixing/under mixing in two-pot products, slip-factor; shelf life (MAC has a shelf life of 5-7 years even in a container that has been opened and resealed.   This benefit eliminates on-site and storage wastage through negligence or ignorance and or product passing it ‘use-by-date’.

The MAC products were specifically developed to meet a myriad of problems, not only actual corrosion or rust problems, but also environmental and actual application prospective.  MAC is easy to apply, has proven and tested longevity for total inhibition of rust and corrosion and has Zero Toxicity and is ‘green’ and environmentally protective in the preservation of the CARBON FOOTPRINT.  The manufacturing and distribution price points are proven to be highly cost effective when compared with more conventional, complicated product systems.


The MAC Coatings System has been fully evaluated scientifically in labs, yard and field testing by some of the world’s most independent, highly accredited and leading testing authorities/institutes such as KTA Tator, Inc., Pittsburg, PA USA;

In addition, MAC A30 has been thoroughly tested for use as a ‘single coat application’ in totally inhibiting rust and corrosion of re-bar and mesh used in concrete construction, both as a pre-treatment and a remedial treatment to combat ‘concrete cancer’ / ‘concrete spalling’.

All claims with respect to MAC products are substantiated by independent scientific evidence, request KTA Tator, Inc. Test Report.

Concrete Cancer & Concrete Spalling Explanation

What is Concrete Cancer?

Concrete Cancer is caused by many factors:

Factors Include: carbonation, moisture, efflorescence and salt.

When concrete cracks, water and water-borne corrosive pollutants penetrate through the cracks causing the steel reinforcement deep inside to rust. Rusting steel then sheds its skin forcing the layers of rust to expand and push away the concrete surrounding it.  In some cases the very presence original untreated steel reinforcement as it expands during the corrosion process is very cause of those cracks that then serve to feed and exacerbate the problem.

This results in large chunks of concrete (constantly causing property and personal injury as in the case of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freeway on the East River side of NYC and a whole raft of similar decaying infrastructures throughout the world) or smaller pieces (as in the case of domestic/suburban homes, driveways, swim pools, etc. ) cracking and/or falling away [See Photographs] thus allowing steel reinforcement to become even more corroded which leads devastating structural weakness (wear) of both the steel and the concrete.


On the outside of the affected concrete, rust stains are visable, broken concrete or even rusted steel reinforcement protruding through the concrete structure, i.e. roadway, pavement, bridge, pylon, wharf, dam wall, concrete pipe, walkway, eave, awning, facade, garage, flat roofs, balcony edges etc.

However, what is not detectable by the human eye is the spread of the “cancer” throughout the concrete, which will continue unabated if left untreated.

Concrete Cancer and Spalling Repair

Concrete cancer is caused when the steel reinforcing within a concrete slab begins to rust. As steel rusts it can expand up to 7 times its original size causing the surrounding concrete to be displaced and become flakey. As the steel pushes the concrete away, more water and corrosive pollutants come into direct contact with the steel expediting the process. The process is often referred to as ‘concrete spalling’.  The practice of continually washing/hosing, as is being carried out in many domestic situations and natural rain-water / snow melt (containing road salt & petroleum residuals) in civil structures and infrastructures  only serves to exacerbate the problem.

Tell-tale signs of Spalling Concrete

Unless one is a structural engineer, or have seen the signs before, chances are signs of spalling are not recognized and completely disregarded, even when it’s time to organise concrete cancer repair work. Here are a few key signs indicating the need for structural repair.

  • Flaking and cracking concrete (concrete spalling)
  • Chunks of concrete actually separating and completely dislodging
  • Rust stains which seem to leak out from within the concrete
  • Bubbling of concrete render or
  • Leaks which appear in the roof or internal walls

As often as not, observers mistake these signs as general weathering and dilapidation, caused by the elements; but whilst this is true to some extent and may play a part in exacerbating the problem, the real problem lies within the steel reinforcing within concrete itself.

Risks of Spalled Concrete

Whilst all will agree that spalled concrete is an eye-sore, what many people fail to realise is that as time goes on, concrete cancer also represents a potential danger of injury and in some case even death as well as being an OH&S hazard and this can lead to serious and costly litigation/damages issues. Over time, and with increased exposure to the elements, untreated pieces of concrete may fall from the structure. If these fall from heights in high traffic areas, then passers-by will be at risk of injury, and other buildings in proximity, at risk of damage as well.

Spalling and delaminated concrete should be repaired immediately, as deferring the decision to treat it will inevitably lead to increased problems into the future.

How Concrete Cancer Begins

The process can start in many ways, but generally it is due to one of the following:

  • Poorly treated reinforcing steel being used when the concrete is poured
  • The ends of the reinforcing being too close to the surface. As water seeps through the concrete it picks up limestone and other corrosive chemicals.
  • When it comes into contact with the steel it causes oxidation to occur in the form of rust
  • Incompatible metals being used in close proximity to each other, thus causing a reaction which allows water into the slab
  • Stress fractures from bearing weight or general wear and tear allow water to penetrate the concrete and react with the steel
  • Poorly designed/constructed structures trapping/directing or puddling of the elements causing rusting to occur

Furthermore, any attempts to fix the problem for the short-term (such as rendering over the problem) will only exacerbate the issue. Despite, potentially looking better, the rusting process will continue below the surface causing the steel to again displace the concrete and in some cases rust so badly the steel eventually needs replacement. Treatment and repair of the concrete is the best solution.

Concrete Cancer Repairs

The M.A.C. team have a certain expertise in this field, however at the present time we do not undertake the actual remedial processes.   We are a manufacturer and supplier of the remedial product.

Ideally you should request your ‘Repairer’ provide you with a scope of works, a repair methodology and an estimate before they begin the process of repairing your concrete. In a brief summary, the repairer should remove all ‘drummy’ concrete and brick work, grind back the reinforcing steel to remove all rust and treat the steel with anti-corrosive membranes (or replace the steel if required).  Once the steel underneath has been treated they should then reinstate the actual concrete and the visual component (bricks or render) to restore the original facade.  It may also require that the entire building be further protected with a ‘cathodic device’.  The MAC Concrete Cancer Products are one hundred percent compatible with ‘cathodic devices’.

Where the issue has originated in a structure that is exposed to flooding / trafficking of liquids / liquid containment / puddling, it is likely that waterproofing will also need to be undertaken.

Once the rusted reinforcing has been repaired, application of a waterproofing membrane will help prevent the ingress of moisture to the slab and prolong the life of the steel and therefore the structure itself.


“Sadly, as often as not, fixing concrete cancer is just one part of the problem. Depending on the nature of your building, its age or the cause of the original problem, you may need more than just spalling repair. “