NACE International, SSPC Publish Standard on Corrosion Control Planning

Because the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) (Arlington, Virginia) now requires all weapon systems to include corrosion prevention and control (CPC) planning as part of their design, acquisition, and sustainment, a small government and industry task force recently developed a useful tool that will help program managers identify and establish CPC planning requirements for their systems, as well as strategies to help contractors fulfill those requirements. 

“The joint task group—comprising experts from DoD’s Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, NACE International, and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)—has published a groundbreaking joint NACE/SSPC standard dedicated to navigating the myriad elements and requirements of CPC planning,” says Rich Hays, deputy director of the DoD Corrosion Office.  

“The new CPC Planning standard offers a more practical and reliable method to influence DoD’s acquisition and sustainment programs, and it will benefit all stakeholders,” he says.

When the joint task group first convened, myriad ad hoc sources reflecting the individual elements of CPC planning existed to assist DoD program managers, notes Stephen J. Spadafora, a task group leader and senior technical advisor for the DoD Corrosion Office. “But no single published standard existed that defined the key elements and composition of CPC planning for all public and private sector users, including suppliers of all equipment, systems, platforms, vehicles, support equipment, and specialized components,” he says. “Nor did these standards address CPC planning for the country’s vast array of facilities—including all buildings, structures, airfields, port facilities, surface and subterranean utility systems, heating and cooling systems, fuel tanks, pavements, and bridges.”

“The new standard is easy for users to understand and navigate, and it allows program and project managers to determine exactly what elements of CPC planning are useful for their purposes,” Spadafora adds. “We divided CPC planning into categories such as corrosion management and design, and each of these is further delineated into detailed subcategories for the user. For example, the category of corrosion management includes the subcategories of resourcing, management structure, internal and external liaison, risk management, and more. The design category covers design concepts, useful life, materials selection, lessons learned, operational environment, protection approaches, and others.”

The new standard also includes checklists that can be used to identify which requirements are applicable to the specific program or project of the user. In the electronic version of the document, these checklists are hyper-linked to the requirements. In turn, the requirements are linked to the detailed guidance in the appendix. These measures ensure that users can easily navigate various sections of the standard, Spadafora says.

According to a 2016 study published by NACE, corrosion costs the United States an estimated $451 billion each year. “Government and industry need this new standard to support future CPC improvements to the procurement, contracting, and sustainment of weapons systems and facilities at an acceptable cost,” Spadafora says. “The fact that program and project managers can now reference this new standard, which defines the deterioration of materials, CPC planning characteristics, and the appropriate application of CPC technologies and practices, provides much-needed uniformity for government and industry.”  

Joint Task Group 527 drafted the standard after an initial meeting in December 2014. In November 2016, the NACE Technical and Research Activities Committee ratified the document, and the SSPC Board of Governors approved it. Paul Chang, task group chair and an SSPC member, and E. Dail Thomas II, the group vice chair and a NACE member, oversaw the committee, which included corrosion control experts from government and industry. The task group operated under the aegis of NACE Specific Technology Group 08, dedicated to “Corrosion Management” issues, as well as Specific Technology Group 40, which concentrates on corrosion related to “Military and Aerospace Systems and Facilities.”

“The draft standard went through the same, parallel NACE and SSPC balloting and internal review processes that any other standard would,” says Rick Southard, senior editor of Technical Activities at NACE. “Two years to completion is quite fast for a standard of this magnitude. We witnessed excellent coordination and cooperation among the participants. NACE looks forward to being involved in similar joint efforts in the future.”

—Cynthia Greenwood

Editor’s Note: The new NACE/SSPC standard, “Corrosion Prevention and Control Planning,” is designated as NACE SP21412-2016/SSPC-CPC 1. It can be downloaded from the NACE Store,, Item no. 21412