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Launch of corrosion resistant harbour piles delayed

BRITISH STEEL'S new 'bug-resistant' Harbour Master sheet piles will not be available until much later than first hoped.

Laboratory trials on the secret alloy, which BS claims is unaffected by bacterial-influenced accelerated low water corrosion (ALWC), have only just been completed. Production trials will start soon, but British Steel said that the launch will not be until sometime next year.

Originally believed to be confined to temperate waters, ALWC is now thought to be a threat to

the structural integrity of steel sheet pile walls in harbours worldwide, following discovery of the problem in Grenada in the Caribbean earlier this year. The phenomenon causes rapid increases in corrosion rates of steel piles at low water mark and 12mm thick piles have become holed within 20 years of being installed.

British Steel had hoped to launch the piles by the end of this year. News of the delay will be a blow to those responsible for marine structures, who are still looking for guidance on the best methods of resisting ALWC.

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