Western Regional Gas Association’s annual conference

Mears Group, Inc – Integrity Solutions will be attending the annual Western Regional Gas Association’s annual conference being held in Tempe, AZ  (Aug. 23rd & 24th). The Western Regional Gas Conference is a regional event featuring presentations and on pipeline safety issues, regulations, and operations & maintenance topics,  as well as exhibits. The WRGC also includes forums for an information exchange between natural gas companies, state & federal regulators, and with associated industry organizations, consultants, manufacturers and venders serving the natural gas pipeline industry. Attend by Bill Marshall

NACE International Central Area Conference

Mears Group, Inc – Integrity Solutions will be attending the NACE International Central Area Conference (CAC) being held in New Orleans (Aug 22nd – 24th). The Central Area Conference is an annual event featuring educational presentations, forums, and new technologies for corrosion prevention and maintenance of oil, gas, pipeline, transportation & infrastructure assets. Visit Mears Group, Inc – Integrity Solutions  at Booth #605. Attended by Scott Smith

Mears Attending SGA Conference

Mears Corrosion and Integrity Group attended the Southern Gas Association (SGA) meeting that took place July 25-27 at the George R Brown convention center in downtown Houston. Our participation was focused on:

  1. Attending and providing feedback during the round table discussions provided by experts in the gas pipeline industry, and
  2. Being part of the exhibits where we showcased our new and innovative services to the pipeline industry.

The SGA Operating conference was attended by over 700 people. Most all industries serving the Gas Industry were represented at this great event. SGA’s Members include over 100 natural gas distribution and transmission companies located primarily in 17 southern US states although the member companies have assets in 33 states.  Many non-member companies and service providers from across the country attended this conference.

Scott Smith and Bill Marshall represented Mears at this event.

Mears shows off BIG time in the Vancouver- NACE 2016 Conference


Earlier in March, NACE International’s Annual Conference and Exposition, CORROSION 2016, brought together more than 6,000 leaders from industry, government, and academia who met in Vancouver, CA to discuss the latest technologies and issues along with making decisions on the most effective means of corrosion prevention.

This year, Mears took a significant exhibit presence showcasing its technology in an island booth (in a prominent location) on the main aisle of the exhibit hall.

The theme, based on our current marketing campaign “Under One Hat” focused on the four key market areas for Mears; EngineeringField ServicesConstruction, and Inline Inspection, defined in “Pod” areas. This clean and simple message gave us the opportunity to deliver complex communications in a simplified manner to the attendees both confidently and clearly, demonstrating the depth of services and technical expertise offered uniquely by Mears.

In addition Mears brought a 24” MFL ILI tool with adjoining caliper. This innovative tool was a shop-stopper, with many attendees wanting to learn more about the tool capabilities and Mears in general.

During the conference, technical members of the Mears staff spoke at several notable sessions on topics such as the PHMSA Pipeline Safety Forum, Corrosion and Punishment and CP of Nuclear Power Plant Buried Piping.   With heavy involvement in the technical committees and meetings, Mears, once again made a statement of being ahead of the curve when it comes to having a deep bench of technical experts.

Tuesday evening saw a hospitality event for clients, industry peers and a group of highly respected NACE members.

All in all, the NACE conference was “a huge success” in its true meaning of the phrase for Mears, and we look forward to further notable achievements coming ‘through the pipeline’ in the coming months as a result of our efforts at the NACE Annual Conference.

Corrosion Damage in Reinforced Concrete


Reinforced concrete is an extremely important material of construction. One reason for the success of this combination is the similarity of thermal expansion properties of carbon steel and concrete. Another is that the extremely high pH of the cement content (typically pH > 13 for new concrete) passivates the steel surfaces against corrosion activity.

The main causes of corrosion of steel in concrete are chloride attack and carbonation. These two mechanisms are unusual in penetrating the reinforced concrete without significantly damaging it structurally.1   Instead, these chemical species pass through the pores in the reinforced concrete and deplete the alkalinity that passivates the steel surfaces. In contrast, deterioration processes resulting from chemical attack on concrete by acids and aggressive ions, such as sulfates, destroy the integrity of the concrete before the steel is affected.    In carbonation, carbon dioxide (CO2), often from the atmosphere, reacts with calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) to form calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and water. This consumption of hydroxide ions reduces the pH of the reinforced concrete and may deplete the passive layer at the surface of the reinforcing steel.

The penetration of chlorides to the steel surface also breaks down the passive layer rather than attacking the steel directly. Relatively minor metal losses that do not compromise the structural integrity of the steel can generate a volume of corrosion product that can spall and crack the surrounding reinforced concrete. This accelerates the penetration of aggressive species. This is a key factor in the corrosion of bridge decks. Forty percent of the bridges in North America are at least 40 years old, and reinforced concrete is the primary material of construction.2   Structures in coastal areas are subject to salt spray atmospheres. It was recognized by the mid-1970s that the deterioration of concrete-bridge structures in cold climates was caused by the corrosion of the reinforcing steel in the concrete, which, in turn, was induced by the intrusion of chlorides from deicing salts into the concrete.

Reinforced concrete bridge decks constitute the weakest link in North America’s infrastructure network. According to a 1997 report, of the 581,862 bridges in the U.S., about 40% were either functionally or structurally deficient. Most of these bridges were severely deteriorated with extensive loss of serviceability and reduced safety, such that some of the bridges had to be load-posted so that overweight trucks would be required to take a longer alternate route.3   In spite of the clear association with bridge damage, the benefits provided by deicing salts are too great in terms of reducing vehicular accidents and minimizing traffic disruption.4   Therefore, its use is not likely to decrease in the future.

In areas of strategic importance such as highway belts of most modern cities, the total cost of repairs is greatly amplified by adding the indirect costs of traffic disruptions. A number of fundamental measures can be taken to address the problem of reinforcing steel corrosion; for example, creating a barrier between the concrete and/or the rebar and the existing environment or applying cathodic protection to the rebar structure. For new structures, it is believed that much progress will be made toward effective corrosion control as life-cycle costing strategies are adopted, as opposed to awarding contracts solely on the basis of lowest initial capital cost outlays. With such a vision, using alternative methods of reinforcement, such as fiber-reinforced polymer composites, corrosion-resistant stainless steel rebar, or epoxy-coated rebar to reduce the exposed steel surface, could prove to be a cost-effective route even if the initial cost were significantly increased.


  1. J.P. Broomfield, Corrosion of Steel in Reinforced Concrete (London, U.K.: FN Spon, 1997).
  2. Z. Lounis, “Maintenance Management of Aging Bridges: Economical and Technological Challenges,” Canadian Civil Engineer 19 (2002): p. 20-23.
  3. Corrosion Protection: Concrete Bridges,” U.S. Dept. of Transportation, FHWA-RD-98-088, Washington, D.C., 1998.
  4. Highway Deicing: Comparing Salt and Calcium Magnesium Acetate,” National Research Council, Transportation Research Board, Special Report 235, Washington, D.C.. 1991.

This article is adapted by MP Technical Editor Norm Moriber from Corrosion Basics—An Introduction, Second Edition, Pierre R. Roberge, ed. (Houston, TX: NACE International, 2006), p. 190,196-197.

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