One of the biggest threats that we see with steel poles and lattice towers is corrosion. If left unchecked, overall grid resiliency will be negatively impacted. Corrosion can degrade the structural performance of steel poles and towers, lead to catastrophic failure, cost the asset owner a lot of money, create liability and safety issues for the public, and lead to unplanned outages.
Coatings on steel poles, lattice towers, and their components are more than aesthetic improvements. Coatings are intended to be a barrier of protection to prevent corrosion. When these protective coatings fail, the asset is vulnerable to corrosive attack. Since that vulnerability leaves you at much greater risk of asset damage, service interruption, and catastrophic failure, it’s critical to monitor the condition of protective coatings on a regular basis.
In the past, utility owners were told their steel assets would be “maintenance free” after installation. At Exo, we know that is clearly not the case. Corrosion issues have presented themselves in detrimental ways.
Each structure has different needs depending on service territory, age, and type of asset. A partnership with Exo means you will get comprehensive corrosion assessment services that give you actionable data. This data will help the asset owner understand the severity of wall loss on a structure as well as how immediate repairs must be completed.
Exo’s Corrosion and Coatings Assessments
Exo’s corrosion and coatings assessments are performed by engineers with specific knowledge of the poles and towers they inspect. To determine corrosion severity, level of wall loss, and the remediation timeline, we offer the following inspections:
- Nondestructive testing (NDT) methods, such as ultrasonic testing (UT), to measure wall thickness loss.
- Above ground inspection with either a technician or drone used by a technician for visual inspection that provides detailed, actionable data.
- Ground line assessment (below ground), where we excavate around the pole to expose the structure and assess its coatings. When coatings are below ground grade, this type of inspection is critical to the longevity of direct-embedded steel poles. This asset class is particularly vulnerable to corrosion damage and coatings failure, and you may not be able to see some of the most serious damage without excavation.
With our team of experts, Exo designs a customized corrosion and coatings remediation/structural repair plan for your individual assets. The plan will return the pole to its design capacity and extend the life of the asset. Partnering with Exo allows utility and asset owners to keep their steel poles and lattice towers working optimally, ensuring assets reach their full lifecycle, are safe for the public, and offer better overall grid resiliency.