Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19906–19914 | Cite as

Identifying effects of pipe material, hydraulic condition, and water composition on elemental accumulation in pipe corrosion scales

  • Manjie Li
  • Zhaowei LiuEmail author
  • Yongcan Chen
  • Mingdong Zhang
Research Article


Identification of the accumulation mechanism of major elements on pipe surface is essential to investigate the development of corrosion scales and co-occurrence of trace inorganic contaminants. In this study, corrosion scale samples were collected from old, corroded iron pipes made of different materials and exposed to different water qualities and operation conditions. Elemental composition of these scales was determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Cumulative occurrence analysis, Q-style hierarchical cluster analysis (CA), and principal component analysis (PCA) were conducted to ascertain major elements typical for corrosion scales and to estimate the dominant influencing factor to each elemental constituent. The major elements in the examined scales are Fe, C, Zn, Si, Ca, Al, and S in the descending prevalence. Their occurrences are influenced by an interactive effect. Pipe material imposes a significant effect on the accumulation of Fe, Zn, and Ca in corrosion scales; water composition can account for the presence of Si, Al, and S in this study; hydraulic condition is identified as the primary factor influencing the occurrence of C and Ca. Q-style CA and PCA are verified practicable for data interpretation and identification of dominant factors influencing scale characteristics.


Corrosion scales Elemental accumulation Pipe material Hydraulic condition Water composition Cluster analysis Principal component analysis 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China [No. 2016YFC0502204] and the National Natural Science Foundation of China [No. 51579130, 91647116].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5401_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1678 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory Hydroscience and EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Southwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangChina
  3. 3.School of SoftwareTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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