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Corrosion Expert Testifies on Chinese Drywall
May 3, 2010

John R. Scully, professor of materials science and engineering, co-director of the Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia, and an internationally recognized corrosion expert, presented failure analysis reports on plumbing and wiring affected by Chinese drywall and testified about the case in the U.S. District Court in New Orleans in February.

On April 8th, the judge in that case awarded seven Virginia families $2.6 million in damages for homes ruined by sulfur-emitting drywall made in China, a decision that could affect how lawsuits by thousands of other homeowners are settled, according to the Associated Press.

Before writing several expert reports concerning corrosion of copper and silver and testifying, Prof. Scully tested copper from appliances and electrical components in Virginia homes built with Chinese drywall. Prof. Scully found that copper components in lamps, HVAC units, heat pumps, light switches and other appliances were significantly corroded from the Chinese drywall’s emission of high levels of reduced sulfur gases. This corrosion could cause appliances to fail and possibly cause electrical fires through increases in contact resistance with corrosion product formation.

According to Prof. Scully, evidence from Virginia homes was presented in the U.S. District Court before cases from other states because manufacturer stamps on drywall in Virginia homes showed a clear link between its Chinese origins and corroded plumbing and wiring.

Prof. Scully’s findings on the corrosivity of Chinese drywall led the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue guidelines calling for homeowners to remove the toxic drywall.

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