Corrosion management systems have been adopted widely by the oil, gas, and process industries. In contrast, adoption of these approaches in civil and maritime infrastructure is still in its early stages. A corrosion management plan begins with understanding a few key items. First, identify what infrastructure elements are present and should be inventoried. Second, identify what construction materials and corrosion protection measures are already in place. Third, understand the nature and severity of environmental and usage-related exposures and impact on corrosion. Lastly, implement a systematic approach to assessing the condition and performance of corrosion protection measures over time to improve design, maintenance, and repair.

This paper describes the development of a formal corrosion inspection and condition assessment program to support corrosion and asset management planning for maritime structures at Port Houston. A hierarchical, elemental-based inspection approach was developed using visual inspection criteria and prescribed measurements to characterize the condition of coatings and cathodic protection systems for above- and underwater elements in maritime structures.


Maritime infrastructure is subjected to harsh exposures that can degrade corrosion protective measures for reinforced concrete and steel elements. For owners and operators of maritime facilities, the introduction of a corrosion management program represents a proactive approach to optimizing the use of resources for maintenance and repair as part of a strategic asset management program.

Over the past five years, Port Houston has developed and implemented a maritime structures Facility Inspection and Condition Assessment Program (FICAP) to support its strategic asset management program. The maritime structures FICAP provides a systematic collection of structural condition information that is stored in a database for analysis and condition rating comparisons. The scope of the maritime structures FICAP did not originally include corrosion protection systems such as coatings or cathodic protection, nor did it include estimates of future corrosion damage or corrosion rates, information that is necessary for a comprehensive corrosion protection plan.

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