Perforation of ABS pipes by boring bivalve Martesia striata: a case study

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Courtesy of Aquator B.V.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipes are considered to be immune for boring organisms. However, inspection of the o0shore cooling water conduits of Lumut combined cycle power plant, Malaysia show that ABS pipes may not necessarily be immune for wood boring pholads, Martesia striata. M. striata caused heavy damage by drilling holes in ABS pipes used (about 5 years) for transportation of hypochlorite from the station towards the intake domes. Hole sizes ranged from 3 to 19 mm2 with an average of 11 mm2. Unlike other boring animals (e.g. Lithophaga), M. striata penetration is not assisted by chemical dissolution of the substrates and therefore, attack is not limited to calcium carbonate substrates. In this context, material like low dense concrete and rocks, wood, PVC, ABS, etc. is subject to attack of M. striata. It is unknown which synthetic polymerics can be expected to be completely immune for boring bivalves. ? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
In spite of tremendous strides in all spheres of technology, marine biodeterioration still remains the greatest impediment to all human activities connected with the sea (WHOI, 1952; Fischer et al., 1984). Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, water has been used as a coolant par excellence (Costlow and Tipper, 1984). However, biological organisms associated with natural waters can seriously disturb cooling system components leading to material degradation, Aow blockage and reduction in heat transfer eBciency (Jenner et al., 1998). In recent years, the problem of destruction of man made structures in the marine environment has received a great deal of interest (Scott, 1991; Rajagopal, 1997). Different kinds of materials (concrete, steel, wood, plastics, etc.) are used for construction of submarine pipes and intakes (Jenner et al., 1998). All materials including concrete, steel, wood, plastics, etc. are susceptible to biodeterioration, due to micro and macro fouling/boring organisms, dissolution, corrosion (chemical and microbial inAuenced) and simple mechanical wear. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipes are considered to be immune for boring organisms. Therefore, ABS pipes were commonly used for anti-fouling application with chlorine in cooling water conduits of power plants. However, inspection of the intake cooling water conduits of Lumut combined cycle power plant (Lumut CCPP), Malaysia clearly indicates that ABS pipes may not necessarily be immune to wood boring pholads, Martesia striata (Linnaeus, 1758).

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