October - November 2022

Deterioration of reinforced concrete structures due to corrosion of steel is a cause of global concern and in India more so in the light of scarce resources. The loses due to corrosion every year runs into millions of rupees and any solution to this universal problem of corrosion has a direct bearing on the economy of the country. It is estimated that about 30 - 40% of steel produced each year is used to replace corroded material.

According to the Ministry of Steel, Government of India, the per capita consumption of finished steel for the year 2019-20 was 74.7kg against the world average of 229kg. The National Steel Policy also aims at increasing the per capita consumption of steel to 160 kg by 2030-31.

Approximately, 50 percent of the finished steel produced goes into construction activities. According to various figures, 5 – 7 percent of our GDP is lost due to corrosion. India's GDP at present is Rs 65 lakh crore. So, we are losing approximately Rs 4 lakh crore due to corrosion and 50 percent of this is related to construction activities. So, one can imagine the mind-boggling figures. At least 30 – 50 percent of these loses can be prevented by following proper corrosion mitigation practices!

While repair may be justified to preserve the architectural legacy of iconic 20th century buildings, such as those designed by reinforced concrete, it is questionable whether this will be affordable or desirable for the vast majority of structures.

After Independence, there were a lot of infrastructure built during the 1950s and 60s. They are now aging and require rehabilitation. That is understandable. But new buildings 7 – 10 years are facing the same problem.  In this issue, we try and analyse why this is happening and the need to find solutions, plus all our regular features and columns.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy festive season of lights and New Year ahead!!!