David H. Kroon, chief technical officer for Aegion Corp. and Corrpro Companies (Houston, Texas) and a 46-year member of NACE International, discussed the evolution of pipeline coatings and cathodic protection (CP) and how they are integral components of corrosion management programs during his plenary lecture, “Pipeline Coatings and Cathodic Protection—Then and Now,” on Monday morning, March 27.
Kroon presented photos of technologies and construction methods representing “then” and “now,” beginning in the late 1800s when gas pipelines were constructed from pine in barrel-like configurations. He explained how the last 50 years have brought tremendous changes in protective coatings and CP technologies as well as improvements in materials, equipment, methods of application, and data collection and processing.
Kroon stressed that safety has become a number one area of focus. “We’ve come a long way from the dangerous days of working in pipeline trenches with standing water and little shoring,” he said, “I thank everyone in this room for improving overall safety performance in our industry.”
He described how corrosion management systems are a priority for corporate management, as documented in the NACE IMPACT Study, released in 2016 (impact.nace.org). He expressed pride in how NACE has evolved from 11 pipeline engineers in 1943 into a worldwide technical community of 36,000 corrosion control professionals in 130 countries, with 350 technical committees and 250 standards. “I attended the symposia speakers’ breakfast this morning prior to this talk,” he said, “It was the largest NACE speakers’ breakfast I have ever seen.”
Kroon closed his lecture with a simple message:
“Technology is changing and changing fast. This creates opportunities for improvement. We need to be smart and develop sustainable solutions. We are all leaders…and we must lead change. There is no alternative.”
And most importantly, he said, “Have fun doing it!”