Aluminium in use

At sea, aluminium can live a lifetime of decades

Thomas Hentschel

By , Head of Research, Rolled Products, Hydro

At sea, aluminium can live a lifetime of decades

The crew quarters and helicopter landing pad of the Oseberg platform are made of uncoated aluminium sheets and profiles.

Aluminium’s natural protective oxide layer prevents general surface corrosion. And after a few years of outdoor exposure, the depth of corrosion normally does not increase substantially, thereby ensuring a lifetime of decades.

Corrosion rates for aluminium are about 100 times less in all categories than those for steel, and almost 10 times less than those for zinc and copper.

Because of its high corrosion resistance in marine environments – even without protective coatings – aluminium is being used successfully in offshore applications and structures. One example is the Oseberg oil and gas platform in the Norwegian North Sea, where the crew quarters and helicopter landing pad are made of uncoated aluminium sheets and profiles.

Aluminium is also used in offshore wind energy installations

as a construction material for stairs and railings, platforms for maintenance crews and for other components of the tower.

Aluminium alloys

Marine and offshore applications typically use the following aluminium alloys:

– 5xxx-series alloys for applications using sheet and plate

– 6xxx-series alloys for aluminium profiles, or extrusions

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