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Hydraulic Steel Structures

Robust Use: Corrosion Protection in Hydraulic Steel Structures

Hydraulic steel structures would be inconceivable without effective active or passive corrosion protection. These special objects are constantly exposed to aggressive attack by water and atmosphere and suffer constantly from a corrosive environment that extremely affects them.

In addition to the sun, weather, water, water changes, splash water, tidal differences, swells, various salt contents, mechanical loads also stress them. To protect such objects against corrosion, we offer our organic coatings, which are trimmed and tested to maximum performance to ensure long-lasting preservation, use and stability.


Corrosivity category



IM 1

Fresh water

Structures in rivers and lakes, such as hydroelectric power plants

IM 2

Salt or brackish water (without cathodic corrosion protection)

Steel structures without cathodic corrosion protection in contact with water (such as port areas with steel structures, sluice gates, jetties)

IM 3


Containers in the soil (such as sheet steel piles, steel pipes)

IM 4

Salt or brackish water (with cathodic corrosion protection)

Steel structures with cathodic corrosion protection in contact with water (such as offshore installations)

Maintenance and repair are also important measures for the corrosion protection of hydraulic steel structures for greater environmental protection and cost-effectiveness. In the ratio of local corrosion load to the selected coating system, EN ISO 12944 defines a so-called durability, i.e. the expected time until the first repair .

The standard distinguishes four time periods:

  • short for up to 7 years

  • medium for 7 to 15 years

  • long for 15 to 25 years

  • very long for protection periods > 25 years.

In fact, long-term experience shows that well-selected and expertly applied protection systems can also exceed a durability of 30 years in practice.

The technical name “durability” is supposed to help clients to plan or determine refurbishment programs. However, these classes aren’t warranty periods in a legal sense.

Further information can also be found in our hydraulic steel construction brochure.

In Germany, tests and approvals according to Im 1 – Im 4 are processed in accordance with the rules of the ZTV-W and the related „Richtlinien zur Prüfung von Beschichtungsssystemen für den Korossionsschutz im Wasserbau (RPB - Guidelines for testing coating systems for corrosion protection in hydraulic engineering)“. Aside from lab testing, our systems are also tested in long-term exposure. If the results of the tests are positive, they will be included in the quality-assessing lists of the BAW (Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau [German Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute]). The Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute in Karlsruhe is responsible for this.

Further information on the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute can be found at

The quality-assessing lists are available under the category - Service & Knowledge - Publications - Quality Assessment.

The ZTV-W, “Additional Technical Terms and Conditions – Hydraulic Engineering” for corrosion protection in hydraulic steel structures are valid for all firm and movable parts of hydraulic engineering, as well as metallic pieces of equipment of waterworks, both in construction and maintenance during the plant and construction stage. Correspondingly, they can also be used for corrosion protection in ships, swimming devices, navigation, steel sheet piles in hydraulic structures and offshore plants.

However, additional tests going beyond requirements of ZTV-W are used according to standards and prerequisites of energy suppliers. Thus, our special “Delta-T Tests” are done to simulate and test our protective paint systems when it comes to high temperature variations. If positive, our protective paint systems can also be used, for example, to protect the insides of cooling water pipes from corrosion.

Further information can also be found in our hydraulic steel construction brochure.

  1. Fields of applications
  2. Rules and standards
  3. Coating materials
  4. Offshore wind
  5. Repair solution
  6. Our competence
Typical Application Areas in Hydraulic Steel Construction
Locks / Gates
Canal Bridges
Ship Lifts
Hydroelectric Power Plants
Steel Sheet Piles
Offshore Systems
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