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Owens Corning to Present Corrosion Management Practices for Buildings

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), a leading global producer of glass fiber reinforcements for composite systems and residential and commercial building materials, will present a technical seminar at China Composites Expo highlighting how developing nations can avoid building a legacy of corrosion that will require spending enormous sums annually for infrastructure repair and replacement by using today's advanced materials and processes including inherently corrosion-resistant fiberglass-reinforced polymer composites.

In China alone – if current construction practices are continued for the next 17 years when the country could become the world's largest economy – China's annual cost of corrosion could then be more than US$ 1 trillion (6.8 trillion Yuan). By employing optimum corrosion management practices today, China's annual savings could then be as much as US$ 347 billion (2.4 trillion Yuan).

Estimates of the worldwide direct cost of corrosion today exceed US$ 1.8 trillion (12.2 trillion Yuan), or 3 to 4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of industrialized countries. New material solutions have been developed since much of the corroding infrastructure was installed in developed nations. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of the annual cost of corrosion can be saved if optimum corrosion management practices are employed.

Using the 4-percent-of-GDP rate found in industrialized nations and estimating a 30 percent annual cost reduction for using optimum corrosion management practices, potential annual savings for other rapidly developing countries in 2027 could be as much as US$ 54 billion for Brazil, US$ 54.6 billion for Russia and US$ 130.2 billion for India.

"Developing nations can now avoid repeating the costly repair and replacement cycle by adopting modern materials and construction methods – including composites – that simply weren't around when many more developed countries were building their core infrastructures," said Jeffrey Xu, marketing leader for Greater China, OCV™ Reinforcements.

"With more than 50 years of field experience, FRP is now proven technology," continued Xu. "Chemical storage tanks and pipe constructed with corrosion-resistant composites, for example, have consistently provided extended service life over those made with metals. There are many examples where composites have lasted more than 50 years and are still in service."

Today's composite materials have the potential to outperform those early applications, even in especially corrosive conditions. Boron-free Advantex® E-CR glass, for example, offers superior performance in composites facing corrosive environments when compared to standard Eglass.

"In 2010, real infrastructure industry growth in China is expected to be 25 percent, reaching a total of more than US$168.5 billion (1 trillion Yuan)," concluded Xu. "We need to make sure a substantial portion of that money is invested in corrosion-resistant composite materials so China can avoid a legacy of high future costs for infrastructure repair and replacement."

Corrosion is a natural process that occurs in refined metals because the materials want to return to their original state. Given sufficient time, oxygen and water, any iron mass eventually converts entirely to rust and disintegrates. Corrosion depends on the nature of soil and other environmental factors, such as the availability of moisture and oxygen, high electrical conductivity and high acidity and salts.


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