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Mic Corrosion

What is MIC corrosion?

The abbreviation MIC stands for the English term Microbiologically Induced (or Influenced) Corrosion or microbiologically induced corrosion or corrosion that occurs as a result of bacteria. It is a chemical process in which the waste products of the ‘critters’ cause metal corrosion. Rust is a form of corrosion. Rusting is specifically the oxidation of iron due to oxygen and water. In short, rust is corrosion, but corrosion is not always rust or oxidation.

Leaks in only three-year-old sprinkler systems

The conditions (heat, standing water, moisture) in sprinkler systems allow MIC bacteria to thrive and cause many problems. This problem has increased in the last 10 years. We encounter sprinkler installations as young as three years old with many leakage problems. Preventive measures such as having a simple water analysis (BART Test) performed to detect corrosion prevents high costs and many problems.

Retainable and galvanized piping not a solution

Corrosion under the influence of mic bacteria is very persistent. Until a few years ago the consequences of this were still very unknown, but with more research it is becoming increasingly clear how many problems and costs these little critters cause. MIC corrosion is a biological process caused by bacteria. During this process, acids are released that corrode even stainless steel and galvanized pipes. We have experienced that wall thicknesses of a few millimeters are completely eaten away in a few months under the influence of mic bacteria.

For a small amount of money we detect mic corrosion

MIC bacteria can be detected by means of a water analysis (BART test). This test was developed to investigate which specific bacteria are present in the water. In practice, it appears mainly to SRBs (sulfur-reducing bacteria). MIC corrosion can be prevented by having the BART test performed by e.g. MIC Europe, laboratories or other organizations when the installation is constructed.

Mic bacteria in sprinkler systems

Mic bacteria are found in ordinary tap water. In what quantity is very different for each region. Low concentrations of mic bacteria in tap water are harmless to humans and animals. In certain systems including sprinkler systems (moisture, heat, standing water) the mic bacteria thrive and corrode the metal. Mic bacteria can be found in both dry and wet sprinkler systems. Research by the German Sprinkler Authorities (VdS) showed that dry systems fared worse than wet systems when it came to microbial attack. This is because during commissioning and testing dry systems are squeezed full of water. Afterwards, water/moisture always remains, allowing mic bacteria to thrive and cause corrosion.