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Government agencies are some of the most astute stewards of the public purse. They’ll go to any length to protect their investments in public projects. Still, public assets like bridges, roads and military hardware tend to suffer from rust and corrosion. In fact, one report suggested that the Defense Department is spending up to $21 billion a year dealing with rusting and corrosion.

So, what can governments do to prevent public assets from rust and corrosion? The answer is very simple…and it could save governments millions of dollars!

Proactively Fighting Rust and Corrosion

Rust is pervasive across applications – be they public or private. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) estimates that rusting and corrosion literally eats up around $276 billion from the American economy. On a global basis, NACE estimates that rust and corrosion wipes out $2.5 trillion off the world’s economy.

 

And, according to NACE, the use of proactive best practices to deal with corrosion and rusting helps the world save anywhere between $375 and $875 billion. Imagine what governments could do with that money if it were possible to save or redirect it? The good news is that government agencies at all levels, local, municipal, State and Federal are proactively fighting rust and corrosion through the strategic application of rust inhibitors:

  • Just two coats of an industrial-strength rust inhibitor helped keep rust, as a result of algae build-up, at bay at the Wetalla Sewerage Treatment Plant Clarifier in Toowoomba in S.E. Queensland in Australia
  • After several years of neglect and decay, a United States Army Air Traffic Control Tower in Louisville, Alabama, USA, suffered from severe rust-through. Once again, strategic use of a rust inhibitor paint saved the day
  • United States Navy Fleet Vessels are routinely subject to harsh conditions on the open seas. Invariably, rust and corrosion take their toll. However, timely use of rust inhibitor paints helps to extend the operational life of these vessels, saving governments and tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in reactive maintenance costs
  • A fleet of school busses in Nye County School District, Pahrump, Nevada, USA, is subject to a barrage of harsh desert weather, destructive ultraviolet sunlight and erosion from blowing desert sands. When coated with a layer of rust inhibitors, the fleet was able to withstand all the vagaries of mother nature, reducing the need for more frequent ongoing maintenance
  • Fleets of Military, Commercial & Industrial Vehicles the world over rely on being ever prepared to roll out on missions on an instants notice. However, rust and corrosion can often throw a spanner in those plans. Rust prevention strategies, like the periodic use of rust inhibitor paints on the fleet, helps forestall unnecessary issues with operational readiness of these assets

These use cases amply prove that, when it comes to fighting rust, being proactive pays. Engineers and maintenance specialists the world over will tell you that, it’s more expensive to fix a problem than to proactively prevent one from occurring in the first place.

Given the nature and sensitivity of publicly-funded projects – like dams, highways, bridges, utility stations – it’s incumbent upon governments at all levels to be proactive in their rust-prevention efforts.  That’s the only way to assure the high-availability of these assets. If a simple task, like strategically using a coat of rust inhibitor paints on susceptible assets, can help save millions of dollars in public expenditure, then why not mandate such a task as part of an overall rust prevention strategy?

Targeted Government Bids for Rust Inhibitor Paints

The examples cited above demonstrate that, with the right rust inhibitor application, corrosion and rust might not take as heavy a toll on public assets as they currently do. The use cases discussed also highlight the fact that government agencies must be proactive – rather than reactive – in how they deal with rusting. That’s the good news. The bad news is that more – much more – has yet to be done in the fight against rust and corrosion.

One way to effectively win the fight against rust and corrosion is for governments to use maintenance contracts as an effective tool to ensure that contractors are, in fact, being proactive about protecting public assets. Making public-private partnerships work to safeguard public assets is easy: Government bids for services, such as public works maintenance and upkeep projects, must mandate the use of rust inhibitor paints for all assets.

The 2-year study conducted by NACE proves that a significant cost-savings is possible through the proactive implementation of rust and corrosion prevention strategies. Governments can use public tender bidding to realize those savings by targeting how that bidding process unfolds. By partnering with companies that have proven rust inhibition products and technologies, such as Rust Bullet, governments can escalate the fight against rusting and corroding public assets.