IMPACT Breaks New Ground in the Study of Corrosion Management

Over past decades there have been significant studies in various parts of the world on the cost of corrosion and how it affects a country’s economy. The often cited 2002 study, “Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States,”1 revealed that the total annual estimated direct cost of corrosion was $276 billion—equivalent to approximately 3.1% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Studies in other countries have shown a similar percentage of GDP.

Over the last two years, NACE International has embarked on a new study that goes beyond the economic effects of corrosion; it emphasizes how to integrate corrosion technology with organizational management systems to optimize corrosion decisions with respect to both cost savings and concern for safety and the environment. IMPACT—the International Measures of Prevention, Application, and Economics of Corrosion Technologies study—is nearing completion and results will be available to the general public worldwide in March 2016.

“Through extensive research, surveys, and data from our global industry and technology partners, we are compiling statistics, models, and real-life case studies to help organizations implement the most effective corrosion management practices,” says NACE Past President Elaine Bowman, manager of IMPACT. “This data was not in the 2002 U.S. study, and has been the most requested information since that time.”

IMPACT focuses on four major industries: utilities (power and water/wastewater), transportation (rail and marine), energy (oil and gas, coal, and nuclear), and infrastructure (bridges and highways). The study features in-depth research and resources in these areas:

  • Assessment of the global cost of corrosion
  • The Corrosion Management System Framework, a documented set of processes and procedures required for planning, executing, and continually improving the ability of a company to manage the threat of corrosion for new and existing assets
  • Assessment and benchmarking of existing corrosion management practices, including case studies and survey results from hundreds of companies
  • Corrosion management tools such as life-cycle costing
  • Education and training programs and opportunities
  • Preventive strategies for effective corrosion management

IMPACT is being conducted by DNV GL, the global corrosion research and consulting firm in Dublin, Ohio, and APQC, a member-based nonprofit organization in Houston, Texas that conducts research on business benchmarking, best practices, and knowledge management.  A number of other nonprofits, government groups, and companies are co-sponsors of the study.

The full report will become available during the Monday, March 7 launch at CORROSION 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. NACE will also release a web site dedicated to the study that features report content broken out by its various categories, enabling users to quickly and easily access data of specific interest. There will be the ability to pull interactive graphs and charts, and by completing a survey, companies can benchmark their own company’s corrosion management programs with those of other organizations around the world.

Watch as additional details about IMPACT are released in the January and February 2016 issues.


  1. G.H. Koch, M.P.H. Brongers, N.G. Thompson, Y.P. Virmani, J.H. Payer, “Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States,” FHWA-RD-01-156, Washington, DC: U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

Related Articles