Honoring Dr. Bobbi Jo Merten with the Dr. James P. Morgan Memorial Award of Appreciation
Written by: Amee Andreason
Bobbi Jo Merten, Ph.D., Technical Service Center’s Materials and Corrosion Lab Group civil engineer in the field.One of the world’s largest voluntary standards-developing organizations has recognized a Reclamation engineer for her work on standards that determine the quality of coatings used on Reclamation structures.
The ASTM International Committee G01 on Corrosion of Metals recognized the Reclamation’s Bobbi Jo Merten, Ph.D., Technical Service Center’s Materials and Corrosion Lab Group civil engineer, with the Dr. James P. Morgan Memorial Award of Appreciation.
The award is administered throughout the year at the discretion of the committee. Merten served for several years as the chairperson of the international working group that developed the draft standard “Test Method for Field Measurement of Electrochemical Impedance on Coatings and Linings.”
Merten's research that formed the basis for the first draft of this standard is part of Reclamation's Science & Technology Program and will help determine the quality of coatings on Reclamation structures and to allow for a more complete picture when planning maintenance.
“Field electrochemical impedance spectroscopy has already changed the way Reclamation engineers perform coating inspections,” said materials engineer Stephanie Prochaska. “This work has validated the method as an important and useful technique that should be adopted industry-wide.”
In the past, Reclamation has relied on visual inspections to identify areas of coatings on structures that have been damaged; however, this doesn’t provide information on the quality of the rest of the coating. Therefore, they identified the need to evaluate undamaged areas of the coatings to better plan the timing and approach for coating maintenance with the goal of lowering overall costs.
The method development combined field demonstrations at the Salt River Siphon in Agua Fria River Siphon in Arizona to further the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy testing method for coating analysis on coated structures and laboratory experiments. EIS is a well-established method in the laboratory setting for the evaluation of the anti-corrosion performance of protective coatings.
“The research found good agreement between the laboratory and field data and made great strides toward refining the field method,” said Merten. “The field electrochemical impedance spectroscopy testing method will continue to be refined through the ASTM work group. Using field EIS testing during coating contracts could ensure good coatings are being received by the government, particularly at the outset of a large or expensive project.”
ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards developing organizations in the world. The not-for-profit organization provides a forum for the development and publication of international voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services. Its volunteer members represent producers, users, consumers, government, and academia from more than 140 countries. The members develop technical documents that are the basis of manufacturing, management, procurement, codes and regulations for dozens of industry sectors.
For more information on the research project, visit: https://www.usbr.gov/research/projects/detail.cfm?id=1884
Published on December 17, 2020