Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Making sense of corrosion protection

An EU-funded project designed and developed probes for sensor devices that enhance the detection and monitoring of corrosion. Resulting information made available to operators stands to help protect against corrosion and its effects, too.
Making sense of corrosion protection
Elements such as moisture and chemical interactions often lead to corrosion - the degradation of an engineered material. Measurements are used to follow such developments in order to protect functional devices across a range of applications. However, the results of expert surveys have traditionally been presented to end users in written reports. This often complicates decision-making, something which has the potential to further hinder operations, for example in process plants.

Losses incurred due to corrosion could be radically reduced if on-line and real-time monitoring, understandable to the wider professional public, become a natural part of decision-making processes. A corrosion monitoring system that provides better information on the corrosive state of working components would also allow for better implementing countermeasures and help mitigate costs. The latter are related, among others, to substituting damaged devices, loss of serviceability and environmental impact.

The 'Automated corrosion sensors as on-line real time process control tools' (Corrlog) project set out to address the need for implementing corrosion sensors as a process control tool for more effective corrosion protection. The project aimed to develop small, independently working sensor devices that would enable rapid, reliable and reproducible corrosion monitoring. Team members focused on optimising direct accessibility to data for end users, and achieving sensor accuracy and reliability in their individual application platforms.

Efforts centred on developing indoor and outdoor atmospheric corrosion sensors as well as fluid or soil media corrosion sensors for detecting internal or external corrosion. Basing their work on the concept of a measuring device using an electrical resistance (ER) technique, partners proceeded with prototype designs: one for a flush-mounted probe, and one for an insertion probe. Laboratory tests found good correlation between the monitoring by ER responses and the actual corrosion rate identified on the sensor element. Further work identified design specifications based on end-user requirements and the manufacture of various insertion steel prototypes tested in field tests. Experimental results revealed the probes were successful.

The insertion probe was made available at Metricorr and will be marketed primarily for district heating water applications. Corrlog reports noted that the flush-mounted probe can be manufactured on request.

Study outcomes have the potential to boost the application of sensor devices in cultural heritage protection, electronic equipment, telecommunications and transportation.

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