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Rapid access to corrosion data.

Rapid Access to Corrosion Data

Our brother/sister (I'm not sure which is appropriate these days) organization NACE, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, has over the last few years developed a number of computerized databases simplifying our access to corrosion data. At a recent monthly meeting of the Toronto Section, Clive Tipple brought in some programs for demonstration. Tipple, who is a member of the executive, has undertaken to sell the software in Canada to simplify the process of importing it from the head office in Houston, TX. He is also very brave as he performed the demonstrations at a dinner meeting with a strange computer. The projection facility made a reasonable image for all to see, but tended to drop some colours, eg. how do you show the movement of the cursor when it becomes invisible?

The first program we viewed was Cor-Sur. This program looks at some 25 metals and alloys and their corrosion performance in about 1,000 environments. The program is totally menu-driven and can look from either direction, eg. how do carbon steel or 316 stainless perform in a sulfuric acid environment as a function of temperature? ...or what metals would be suitable selections for containing a sulfuric acid environment? It is a credit to the program that it performed flawlessly under these conditions; there was no difficulty encountered with people calling up choices and searches being made. Each search took only a few seconds, ie. less time than it would take to find the index page of the first handbook to start a manual search... and this includes the contents of many handbooks to cover its wide range of operation. Options included choosing US or metric units and some tuning of the program to match your system.

I borrowed the program after the meeting to look at it in more detail. I was particularly interested in how to get a hard copy. The authors provided a copy of GRAPHICS.COM which allows dumping a CGA screen to a 9-pin printer. With other graphics cards and printers, you would then require a commercial graphics screen dump program. I found an even simpler approach, but as is all too common, not readily obvious from the manual. You have to tell Cor-Sur that you don't have a graphics card. It then produces the graphs using the upper ASCII (or IBM) character set. If your printer can handle these, you just push the PrtSc button and a neat little graph appears. If you have a screen dump program such as Snipper (available as freeware on all BBS systems and local libraries that support free/shareware computer programs), you could save the screen and incorporate it directly into a wordprocessor text file...and unlike graphics files, it takes little memory and prints quickly, but beware: do not print with proportionally-spaced fonts.

At first, it was annoying to find that Cor-Sur had a lot of holes in the data for several systems. This is not a reflection on the program, but more a reflection on the completeness of the literature. It's better to find this after a few minutes on screen rather than spend a day searching the literature... and this program contains data from an extensive literature database. There are also numerous |empty' regions where the corrosion rate was high at low temperatures and there was no data for higher temperatures. The carbon steel printout shown is a good example. Although there is no data for corrosion rates in sulfuric acid at elevated temperatures; we all know it dissolves.

A companion program Cor-Sur 2 extends the capability to some 35 non metals (ceramics, polymers, etc.) in 850 corrosive environments. The two work load together in the same subdirectory and use a common menu system. Two more-specialized programs Chem-Cor 1 and Petro-Cor 1 cover selection of materials for sulfuric acid/oleum systems and sucker rod pumps respectively.

NACE have developed extensive databases with the abstracts cited in Corrosion Abstracts and from their annual conferences. Cor-Ab started in 1980 and contains about 4,000 abstracts for each year and can be purchased on floppy disk with annual updates, but as this requires about 4 megs per year, their are advantages to considering a CD-ROM version. Mic-Ab is somewhat simpler and contains a reference database of some 280 abstracts on microbiologically induced corrosion.

We chose to look at a demo disk of Ab-Search which contains the abstracts from the annual conferences. As Murphy's Law would have it, the demo program did not want to work with a strange computer in front of an audience. (Tipple told me later that it worked perfectly well then he looked at it the next day with his system.) The committee is made up of University of Calgary scholars of different disciplines. If the committee agrees that the manuscript meets recognized scholarly criteria including a rigorous examination of fundamental propositions and is appropriate to UCP's publishing programme, it will be sent for peer review. At least two peer reviews are required.

As with most Canadian university presses. UCP must seek individual publication funds. One major source of funding for manuscripts in the humanities and the social sciences is through the Aid to Publications Programme (ASPP) which acts on behalf of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities (CFH) and the Social Science Federation of Canada (SSFC). The Programme is designed to assist the publication of works of advanced scholarship which make an important contribution to the advancement of knowledge, but which are unlikely to be self-supporting. We have in the past had difficulty locating appropriate sources of funds for the publication of scientific works therefore I was delighted to read about the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Scientific Publications Grants Programme.

Perhaps in a future issue you may wish to publish the names of Canadian publishers interested in considering manuscripts for publication. Please keep the University of Calgary Press in mind.

PHOTO : Figure 1 Screen Dump from Cor-Sur saved with Snipper and printed with WordPerfect
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Chemputing
Author:Silbert, Marvin
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:evaluation
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Words:1001
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