Unveiling the Silent Killer: Jetty Pile Corrosion Exposed


What is jetty pile corrosion?

Jetty pile corrosion refers to the degradation and deterioration of piles used in jetties, which are structures built in seawater and freshwater bodies to serve as platforms for berthing vessels, loading and unloading cargo, and facilitating maritime activities.

These piles are typically made of steel or concrete and are subjected to harsh environmental conditions, including exposure to water, waves, tides, and mechanical damage from floating debris. Corrosive. Over time, these factors contribute to the accelerated corrosion of jetty piles, posing significant challenges to their structural integrity and overall safety.

What causes jetty pile corrosion?

Corrosion of jetty piles can occur through various mechanisms. One of the most common forms is known as marine corrosion, which is caused by the electrochemical reactions between the metal surface and the surrounding water. Saltwater acts as an electrolyte, enabling the flow of electrons and ions that leads to the corrosion process. The presence of dissolved oxygen in seawater further accelerates this process.

Jetty pile corrosion in the splash zone, aside from seawater that causes normal marine corrosion, other factors such as temperature variations, tidal action, wave impacts, man-made pollutants, sufficient oxygen (O2), ultraviolet rays, and salt spray that continually washes upon objects, will cause severe corrosion damage.

Are there any special considerations to be aware of related to jetty pile corrosion?

Consideration for corrosion below the waterline, and in the atmospheric space above the splash zone, up to the underside of the jetty itself, is an important factor in selecting the correct coating system and surface preparation.

Steel piles are particularly susceptible to corrosion due to their iron content. When exposed to the marine environment, steel undergoes an oxidation reaction, resulting in the formation of iron oxide, commonly known as rust. Rust weakens the structural integrity of the piles, leading to material loss and reduced load-bearing capacity. In severe cases, it can result in pile failure and the collapse of the jetty structure.

How can jetty pile corrosion be mitigated?

To mitigate jetty pile corrosion, several protective measures are employed. One common approach is the application of protective coatings or visco-elastic corrosion protection systems on the pile surface. These coatings act as a barrier, preventing direct contact between the metal and corrosive agents.

STOPAQ Jetty Pile coatings are designed to cope with the atmospheric, splash zone and below the waterline phases on a jetty pile.

The system can be applied on manually prepared steelwork using wire-brush, scraper or Scotchbrite® pads. This is a huge advantage to some systems that would require grit blasting as a form of surface preparation.

STOPAQ Jetty Pile coatings contain no VOC’s and eliminate any risk of contamination into the marine environment or waterways. Life expectancy is 60+ years, compared to 7-10 years using conventional coatings.

In conclusion, jetty pile corrosion is a significant concern in maritime infrastructure due to the harsh marine environment and exposure to corrosive agents. Steel piles, in particular, are prone to corrosion, which can compromise the structural integrity of the jetties.

Where can I learn more about jetty pile corrosion?

To learn more about jetty pile corrosion from one of our experienced corrosion engineers, contact us through the contact form on this website or by sending us an email at office@presserv.com.