New System for Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) Monitoring and Prediction
CorrosionRADAR is pioneering a novel Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) monitoring technology for oil and gas and several other industries. A spin-out of Cranfield University, it aims to support a move away from reactive risk-based inspection programmes to predictive corrosion management supporting digitisation initiatives for Industry 4.0.
The company has developed an automated monitoring and predictive analytics system to monitor CUI, using an innovative distributed sensor system. The novel sensor is permanently mounted next to the pipe, under the insulation, and exposed to the same environment as the asset external surface. An electromagnetic signal is injected into the sensor using permanently installed electronics, and proprietary algorithms can be used to determine the location of any corrosion. The system can detect corrosion within a range spanning several hundred metres from a single system.
CorrosionRADAR wanted to develop a lab-based experimental method to analyse corrosion rates and corrosion correlation of various metals to increase the sensitivity of its system. This could open the way for the design of a next-generation sensor using materials compatible with the pipe material, there making the monitoring more robust.
CorrosionRADAR engaged with OGIC, who connected them with the Condition Monitoring Research Group at the School of Engineering at Robert Gordon University. Using a specially designed laboratory-scale rig deployed within an existing corrosion test chamber at the University, the team developed a methodology, using an electrochemical technique, to analyse:
- corrosion rate and corrosion correlation of various metals under different test cognitions, such as at different temperatures, with different electrolyte solutions including sea water
- effect of different sensor designs
- importance of the distance between the pipe wall and the sensor
From these experiments, the RGU team were able to present the corrosion rates and correlation of different metal specimens under different conditions. They found a consistently high corrosion correlation factor between the sensor material and carbon steel in various test conditions, and listed potential improvements in CorrosionRADAR’s sensor design.
With the project completed, CorrosionRADAR is undertaking further R&D collaboration in partnership with OGIC and researchers at Scottish universities, on different design elements of its corrosion and moisture sensor. It has also been working with the Innovation Centre for Sensing and Imaging Systems (CENSIS) on the integration of its corrosion and moisture systems with Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure.
“CUI monitoring costs the oil and gas industry more than £3.5bn, with current practice relying on visual inspection on site, often in inaccessible locations. The CorrosionRADAR system would give operators continuous, real-time information about the condition of their assets. Our project with OGIC and the Condition Monitoring Research Group at RGU is a major step towards getting this technology into the field.”
Dr Chiraz Ennaceur, Chief Executive Officer, CorrosionRADAR
“The CorrosionRADAR project could help to open the way for predictive maintenance techniques. This project was a great fit with the team and facilities at RGU. It was a good experience for us, both the technology we worked with and the practical support from OGIC at all stages.”
Dr Nadimul H Faisal, Condition Monitoring Research Group, RGU