Remote Sensing Project for Corrosion Under Insulation

Officials with the remote corrosion sensing project see oil and gas pipeline operators as potential users of the technology. Photo courtesy of CENSIS.

A new project between Scotland’s Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems (CENSIS) (Glasgow, United Kingdom) and technology provider CorrosionRADAR (Cambridge, United Kingdom) is exploring the use of remote sensors to monitor corrosion under insulation (CUI) without having to physically remove insulation for a visual inspection.

Potential benefits include cutting financial costs associated with manual monitoring while also reducing worker exposure to difficult conditions.

“Tackling CUI in the oil and gas industry is the first application we foresee,” says Chiraz Ennaceur, CEO of CorrosionRADAR, a spin-out firm from Cranfield University (Bedford, United Kingdom). “In the downstream segment alone, there are more than 700 crude oil refineries with over 2 million pipelines—and 25 to 30 percent of these are prone to CUI,” he adds.

The radar system is described as a distributed sensing technology for detecting and predicting hidden corrosion. Comprised of a long thin flexible sensor, it can detect and locate corrosion and moisture in difficult and even inaccessible locations. Coded electromagnetic signals are wirelessly transmitted, and data are collected through a permanently mounted sensor network.

The groups are working to integrate the corrosion and moisture sensors with Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure, including battery-powered wireless data logging using industry protocols and cloud-based analytics. This enables sensor data to be delivered from areas not connected to a power grid. The year-long project will carry out a technical feasibility study for IoT enablement of the sensors for infrastructure design and product development. Once in place, future work includes forming a predictive maintenance model.

Funding for the £98,000 project incorporates a £68,896 grant from Innovate UK—the United Kingdom’s government-funded innovation arm

Source: CENSIS,