This report describes the annual total cost of metallic corrosion in the United States and preventive strategies for optimum corrosion management. In 1998, an amendment for a Cost of Corrosion study was included in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and was approved by Congress. In the period from 1999 to 2001, CC Technologies conducted the research in a cooperative agreement with the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and NACE International (The Corrosion Society). The total direct cost of corrosion is estimated at $276 billion per year, which is 3.1% of the 1998 U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). This cost was determined by analyzing 26 industrial sectors in which corrosion is known to exist and extrapolating the results for a nationwide estimate. The sectors were divided among five major categories: infrastructure, utilities, transportation, production and manufacturing, and government. The indirect cost of corrosion is conservatively estimated to be equal to the direct cost (i.e., total direct cost plus indirect cost is 6% of the GDP). Evidence of the large indirect corrosion costs is lost time, and thus lost productivity because of outages, delays, failures, and litigation. It was found that the sectors of drinking water and sewer systems ($36 billion), motor vehicles ($23.4 billion), and defense ($20 billion) have the largest direct corrosion impact. Within the total cost of corrosion, a total of $121 billion per year is spent on corrosion control methods and services. The current study showed that technological changes have provided many new ways to prevent corrosion and there has been improved use of available corrosion management techniques. However, better corrosion management can be achieved using preventive strategies in non-technical and technical areas. These preventive strategies include: (1) increase awareness of large corrosion costs and potential savings, (2) change the misconception that nothing can be done about corrosion, (3) change policies, regulations, standards, and management practices to increase corrosion cost-savings through sound corrosion management, (4) improve education and training of staff in recognition of corrosion control, (5) advance design practices for better corrosion management, (6) advance life prediction and performance assessment methods, and (7) advance corrosion technology through research, development, and implementation.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    CC Technologies Laboratories, Incorporated

    6141 Avery Road
    Dublin, OH  United States  43016-8761

    NACE International

    1440 South Creek Drive
    Houston, TX  United States  77084-4906

    Federal Highway Administration

    Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, 6300 Georgetown Pike
    McLean, VA  United States  22101
  • Authors:
    • Koch, G H
    • Brongers, MPH
    • Thompson, N G
    • Virmani, Y P
    • Payer, J H
  • Publication Date: 2002-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 773 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00923402
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RD-01-156,, R315-01,, Final Report
  • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-99-X-00004
  • Created Date: Apr 8 2002 12:00AM