Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Introduction
3.0 Corrosion Resistant Lighting
    3.1 Design
    3.2 Regulatory Compliance
    3.3 Benefits and Industry Applications
4.0 Corrosion Resistant Cords
5.0 Larson Electronics Corrosion Resistant Lighting Solutions
6.0 Conclusion

1.0 Executive Summary

This report covers the benefits of corrosion resistant lights and cords, as well as its applications in relevant industries. The paper focuses on unique corrosion resistant materials used to manufacture such products and its long-term advantages over traditional lighting options. Businesses, operators, engineers and lighting specialists may find the information helpful in minimizing risks and injuries in the workplace. Compliance with several institutions that administer best practices and approval ratings for corrosion resistant equipment will also be covered to ensure proper usage and application.

Larson Electronics is a top provider of industrial lighting products for businesses and large-scale projects. With over four decades of experience, the brand offers customized solutions for customers, as well as an extensive selection of the latest industrial grade lighting products available in the market today. This paper is a reflection of Larson Electronics’ assertive presence in the competitive commercial lighting industry.

2.0 Introduction

Demanding and extreme work environments can cause serious damage to conventional lighting products. Exposure to corrosive agents, such as salt, acid and cleaning solutions, is a leading cause of light failure or malfunction in hazardous settings. Sectors that rely on corrosion resistant units include (but is not limited to) the following: marine, oil and gas, military, chemical processing plants and mining. In marine environments, the application of such products are often combined with best practices in reducing salt-based corrosion, such as washing down exposed gear with freshwater.

According to a 1998 US Federal Highway Administration study, US-based companies and organizations spend over $276 billion (or 3.1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product [GDP]) annually on the prevention, monitoring and maintenance of corrosion-related issues. Sectors that are greatly affected by corrosion include infrastructure, $22.6 billion; production and manufacturing, $17.6 billion; transportation, $29.7 billion; utilities, $47.9 billion; and government, $20.1 billion. In Japan, the figure is set at 1.2 percent of the country’s GDP; while other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Kuwait and Australia range between 1-5 percent. Factors contributing to the overwhelming rates include aging, increase in maintenance and replacement costs, and tight quality assurance standards.

When dealing with hazardous work locations, corrosion resistant industrial equipment must adhere to specific regulations. Such guidelines are designed to keep operators safe while performing tasks in areas where dangerous gases and dust are present. For electrical compliance, businesses must be aware of the guidelines set forth by the National Electric Code (NEC). The standards highlight set classifications for explosion proof lighting and elaborate on best practices when handling electrical equipment.

Operators must also consider various product approval ratings to ensure proper application. This holds especially true in the marine sector, where “International Protection” standards indicate the viability of the product against intrusion from objects and contaminants. For example, a unit with an IP67 rating offers sealed protection from water sprayed at minimal pressures at depths up to one meter.

3.0 Corrosion Resistant Lighting

3.1 Design

Resisting the effects of corrosion starts with the materials used to build the fixture. Because of this, a special design is required to reduce failure rates and reinforce the unit’s sturdy properties. Stable metals, such as stainless steel, are typically used to prevent corrosion during exposure. In particular, stainless steel is composed of iron, chromium, manganese, silicon and carbon (and sometimes nickel and molybdenum). The components form a thin film that serves as a layer of protection for the metal.

Corrosion still occurs on stainless steel surfaces, but only at an atomic level. Other metals, including titanium and aluminum, offer relatively the same type of film protection. Aluminum is effective in preventing rust against saltwater. However, it is prone to pitting and may develop a dull finish during long periods of exposure. Plastics are also effective against corrosion, but the material is prone to warping and degradation under UV light and heat. UV resistant plastics may offer long-term protection against such elements, but only under specific exposure thresholds.

In addition to stable metals, corrosion resistant products are finished with baked on glazes, specialty paints, coatings and/or non-corrosive materials. When it comes to the exterior components, manufacturers typically install gaskets or plastic cord rings around the light’s housing and cord ends. The main function of the components is to prevent moisture from entering the fixture. By comparison, products that promote corrosion, such as inexpensive steel, zinc and copper, stimulates the breakdown of the surface by actively reacting with oxygen from water. Over time, rust develops as the surface is exposed to water and air. In marine environments, such elements display corrosion rather quickly due to intense exposure levels.

3.2 Regulatory Compliance

Corrosion resistant lights can be used to comply with the latest lighting standards implemented in various robust industries. In the trucking sector, where lighting electrical failures are common due to exposure to extreme weather and aggressive de-icing solutions, several notable regulations are in place to ensure best practices in trucking maintenance and safety.

An example of this is a recommendation from the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association. The organization recently issued a revision in Recommended Practice (RP) 704C, suggesting that “the electrical system should include sealed wiring, water- and corrosion-resistant connectors and low-amperage lamp designs. They are the things to get for long life with few troubles and low downtime.” In this case, the RP is designed to help equipment purchasers describe specifications for a heavy-duty lighting system that is stable and offers corrosion-free protection for a minimum service life of 12 years (timeframe established by task force members as the norm for most trailer types).

To meet the standards of work in wet environments, the NEC and UL defines the requirements for such locations:

·         NEC (Wet Locations): Installations underground or in concrete slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth; in locations subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as vehicle washing areas; and in unprotected locations exposed to weather.

·         NEC Article #410-4 Luminaires (Fixtures) in Specific Locations:

o   (a) Wet and Damp Locations- Luminaires (fixtures) installed in wet or damp locations shall be installed so that water cannot enter or accumulate in wiring compartments, lampholders, or other electrical parts. All luminaires (fixtures) installed in wet locations shall be marked, “Suitable for Wet Locations”. All luminaires (fixtures) installed in damp locations shall be marked, “Suitable for Damp Locations”.

o   (b) Corrosive Locations- Luminaires (fixtures) installed in corrosive locations shall be of a type suitable for such locations.

·         UL (Wet Locations, from UL Standard Publication 1598): A location in which water or other liquid can drip, splash, or flow on or against electrical equipment. A wet location luminaire shall be constructed to prevent the accumulation of water on live parts, electrical components, or conductors not identified for use in contact with water.

In Canada, the application of corrosion resistant lights may help professionals comply with National Safety Code Standard 11 Part B, which indicates that a fixture may be replaced or rejected if “25 percent or more LEDs of any one lamp assembly are non-functional.” Using protected, corrosion resistant lighting units while adhering to such guidelines is an effective way to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.

3.3 Benefits and Industry Applications

Corrosion resistant fixtures can be found in environments where corrosive agents are present. The marine sector is one of the main industries that widely implements the use of such equipment. This is due to the presence of sea salt during operations. Salt is hygroscopic in nature, which allows it to create optimal conditions for corrosion. The creation of highly corrosive electrolyte solution is streamlined as salt attracts water to unprotected surfaces. Fluctuations in humidity and shifts in seasons could also make such conditions worse and accelerate the corrosion process.

Galvanic corrosion, or bimetallic corrosion, is especially persistent in marine settings. The presence of seawater boosts the breakdown of the metal that is the anode, while the other metal (the cathode) is protected. An example of this is the combination of aluminum and carbon steel in seawater. In this case, aluminum has a tendency to corrode quickly, as the steel surface stays protected.

Best practices for preventing galvanic corrosion includes the following measures:

·         Choose materials with similar corrosion potentials

·         Apply anti-corrosive coating to both surfaces

·         Separate both materials using a spacer

·         Disrupt the electrical connection between the two metals using insulation or a barrier

In marine environments, corrosion resistant lights are heavily protected from seawater. The external components are designed to keep the fixture dry, while preventing water and salt from causing damage to the unit. Boaters use corrosion proof LED spot beam lights to increase visibility on in the water. Coast lights on docks and buildings close to the ocean may also incorporate corrosion resistant technology to boost the lifespan and efficiency of the fixtures.

In the oil and gas industry, corrosion resistant lights are used to prevent the deterioration of lights with emphasis on marine-related projects, such as offshore drilling. For such cases, seawater prevails as the main culprit for corrosion. Applications in the sector becomes more complex when facilities are required to comply with hazardous location safety standards and guidelines. Lighting equipment in the field typically makes use of stainless steel, brass, high impact nylon polymers and watertight connectors for protection against dangerous gases and corrosion.

Outside of marine settings, corrosion resistant fixtures can be found in commercial buildings that require protected outdoor lighting. In the aviation industry, airports use the lights for airfield ground lighting, which includes approach and navigational aids, airfield guidance signs and runway lights. Some manufacturing and processing facilities also use corrosion resistant units to increase the lifespan of lights in locations that are exposed to corrosive agents on a regular basis.

4.0 Corrosion Resistant Cords

Corrosion resistant cords are designed to push consistent electrical power to the fixture while providing protection against corrosive substances. Such accessories are typically found in marine settings, and are coupled with corrosion resistant lights. A common type of cord that provides protection under heavy exposure is an SOOW cable. The name of the cord suggests that it supports the following properties: oil-resistant jacket and insulation, and weather resistant. Furthermore, such accessories may also have the following third-party designations: UL, CSA, MSHA and OSHA. It is important to consider that a cord’s ratings may not extend to protect the plugs and connectors of the fixture.

When used on boats, such cords can reduce the risk of current leakage. By comparison, fresh water is not a strong conductor and will cause leaking currents to set up an electrical field around the vessel. While saltwater is highly conductive and may carry a current to earth ground. In addition to persistent saltwater exposure, signs of cord corrosion in marine environments indicate that the fixture is drawing too much power from the cord. Overdrawing current from a corroded cord may cause it to become more resistant to current flow. As a result, more current is required to supply power to the fixture. To avoid such occurrences, it is important to regularly check on the cord and replace worn out lighting accessories that display signs of corrosion.

5.0 Larson Electronics Corrosion Resistant Lighting Solutions

Larson Electronics provides an extensive selection of corrosion resistant lighting products for commercial sectors. The company specializes in high grade fixtures and power distribution equipment, as well as customized lighting solutions for businesses and large-scale projects. Establishments can benefit from the brand’s expertise in the latest industry trends, offerings and best practices. Customers are treated to an exclusive catalog, with products ranging from explosion proof LED fixtures and high bay lighting, to LED spot lights and handheld flashlights.

Below is a shortlist of corrosion resistant lighting equipment from Larson Electronics:

·         LED signal stack light (red, amber and green light outputs; 120-277 volts AC)

·         Hazardous area fluorescent light for corrosion resistant requirements (UL rated C1D2)

·         LED light fixture with marine grade stainless steel housing (ATEX/IECEX approved)

·         Non-metallic corrosion resistant light (UL rated C1D2, 42 watts)

·         Hazardous location LED light with aluminum I-beam mount (C1D2, UL 1598A listed)

·         LED non-metallic traffic light (C1D2 approved, waterproof)

·         Hazardous area LED strobe light (UL rated C1D2, waterproof IP67 rating)

6.0 Conclusion

Corrosion resistant lights are essential for marine operations and facilities that are persistently exposed to corrosive substances. In most cases, such fixtures are designed to deter corrosion from exposure to saltwater. The effectiveness of the light’s resistance to harsh elements depend on the materials used during manufacturing and assembly. Corrosion resistant cords play an integral role in the viability of corrosion resistant products. Like its corresponding fixtures, proper selection and maintenance are crucial in preventing product failure, current leakage and loss of efficiency.

Due to the various applications of corrosion resistant lights, establishments are required to understand the approval ratings and regulations surrounding the products. Such best practices can boost safety during operation and may increase the lifespan of the applicable fixture. Lastly, the product’s ability to withstand harsh, corrosive conditions makes it an ideal lighting option for a variety of sectors, such as oil and gas, aviation, trucking and manufacturing.

Larson Electronics
9419 E US HWY 175
Kemp, Texas 75143