I work in a pharmaceutical plant where saline solution is produced and bottled. The environment has to be clean (by pharma standards), which rules out many greases and other protective coatings. As expected from a saline environment (from my experience it can be as agressive as a marine one), the corrosion over all parts in the room is heavy.
I have mostly controlled the corrosion of structures (all of them have to be made of stainless steel: 316L for those parts in contact with the product, 316 for some others and some structural parts of the equipment are made of 304 SS) by carefully selecting materials, specially material pairs (when I have to), introducing electrical discontinuities in structural joints (if I have a bronze piece, for example, in contact with a SS one, I introduce teflon washers/separators to reduce galvanic corrosion), and at least in one case by using a sacrifice anode.
But the corrosion of electrical components and wiring is something I haven't been able to control, to the point that I've had to replace all the wiring in one of the machines in as little as 5 months. Wires (not only power lines, but also control ones, such as termocouple wiring) get rusted not only in the terminals (where it's evident), but also under their plastic sleeves. In the case of control wiring, this causes noisy signals that result in machine stoppages and downtime (my most recent case is a termocouple that sent a correct signal of 180°C but showed (unreal) peaks of up to 270°C that, of course, triggered an alarm in the PLC).
I can only blame it on corrosion, as the problem goes away by replacing all the wiring and terminals. The wires I took off show corroded under the sleeves, and some of them were brittle. (If you think it's not corrosion, I'd like to hear your opinion).
I can't hide all the wiring from the product (in particular some of the termocouples my get some product spray) and my electrical boxes are as separated from product and tigth as possible (even they don't hold to any IP standard).
So my questions are:
- Is there anything I can do to prevent this sort of corrossion in electrical components and wiring?
- Is there anything akin to a sacrifice anode that I can use in electrical parts / wiring?