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Reducing the cost of ballast tank corrosion: an economic modeling approach
De Baere, K.; Verstraelen, H.; Rigo, P.; Van Passel, S.; Lenaerts, S.; Potters, G. (2013). Reducing the cost of ballast tank corrosion: an economic modeling approach. Mar. Struct. 32: 136-152.
In: Marine Structures. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0951-8339; e-ISSN 1873-4170, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Ballast tank; Total cost of ballast tanks; Corrosion; Corrosionresistant steel; Coating; Sensitivity analysis

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    One of the most relevant problems in ship construction and maintenance nowadays concerns the corrosion in the double hull space ballast tanks of modern merchant vessels. On the one hand, there is a general consensus that the economic life span of such a vessel depends primarily upon the corrosion state of its ballast tanks, while on the other hand, the position of these tanks, squeezed between the outer hull and the loading tanks, makes routine inspection and maintenance almost impossible.
    Today, ship's ballast tanks are usually constructed in grade A steel and protected with a standard epoxy coating, backed up with sacrificial zinc anodes. Such a construction has been applied without significant alterations for many years. However, the objective of this economic study is to compare this construction method with some feasible alternatives. The considered alternatives are: (1) an increase of the scantlings, eliminating the necessity to replace corroded steel but diminishing the cargo carrying capacity of the ship, (2) application of the novel and more durable TSCF25 coating (3), the use of corrosion resistant steel in ship construction or (4) a standard PSPC15 coating combined with lifetime lasting aluminum sacrificial anodes. After running each alternative through a cost model including an extensive sensitivity analysis, it is concluded that the durable coating and the use of lifetime lasting aluminum anodes are bound to improve the actual basic tank concept. Corrosion resistant steel becomes attractive depending upon the evolution of the international steel market.

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