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Potomac Institute Releases New Book, Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research

Book cover photo © Roger McLassus, CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies has released a book-length study, Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research. The new book, written by Dr. Robert Hummel, chief scientist at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, arose out of an investigation into research directions that would lead to revolutionary improvements in society’s ability to control corrosion processes in materials and systems.

Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research offers a road map for novel research directions that could lead to dramatic changes in how the nation views and deals with corrosion and degradation problems. The study outlines new technological and organizational approaches to materials sustainment, which could lead to reduced maintenance requirements and "a future where systems are designed for specific lifetimes."

Hummel envisions a future “where affordable materials and coatings are developed so that systems require minimal maintenance against degradation, and [where] upgrades and end-of-life disassembly and recovery are exceptionally easy."

"This book maps out an innovative approach in battling corrosion and supporting new ideas in materials sustainment," said Daniel J. Dunmire, Director of the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office and the author of the book’s foreword.

Corrosion is a national problem that goes beyond the rusting of metal. Each year, the prevention and maintenance associated with corrosion and degradation cost the United States more than one trillion dollars. Alternative Futures "lays out some of the compelling reasons for improving corrosion control," according to Dunmire’s foreword. "[The book] surveys the causes and directions in corrosion control, and most importantly, provides a research agenda for new directions that could alter the future of corrosion control,” Dunmire states.

Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research also sparks discussion about functional advances in corrosion control, including the development of new materials and coatings, as well as novel systems-engineering approaches that could mitigate the effects of corrosion throughout a system's life cycle.

Key chapters in the book address the need for improved corrosion control; the status of the corrosion control enterprise, corrosion research directions, and recommendations focused on research program objectives and the impact of "new directions" research on national needs. Hummel classifies high-priority, corrosion-related problems into such categories as "national defense systems," "national infrastructure," national energy production and distribution systems," "commercial vehicles," and "manufacturing and manufactured products."

While issues surrounding corrosion costs are important, Hummel's study asserts the need to consider issues of safety, the improvement of system reliability, and the importance of increasing system availability and finding ways to avoid replacing systems prematurely.

Hummel conducted the study into Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research for the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office. At the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Hummel leads studies on science, technology, and innovation. The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent public policy research institute with a focus on science, technology, and national security issues.

For further information, or to purchase Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research, visit Potomac Institute for Policy Studies at www.potomacinstitute.org or contact Kathryn Schiller Wurster, Potomac Institute chief of staff, at kschillerwurster@potomacinstitute.org.

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