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Introduction to Corrosion Monitoring

Introduction to Corrosion Monitoring

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Published by: m_alodat6144 on Dec 07, 2012
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Introduction to Corrosion Monitoring
What is Corrosion Monitoring?
The field of corrosion measurement, control, and prevention covers a very broad spectrum of technicalactivities. Within the sphere of corrosion control and prevention, there are technical options such ascathodic and anodic protection, materials selection, chemical dosing and the application of internal andexternal coatings. Corrosion measurement employs a variety of techniques to determine how corrosivethe environment is and at what rate metal loss is being experienced. Corrosion measurement is thequantitative method by which the effectiveness of corrosion control and prevention techniques can beevaluated and provides the feedback to enable corrosion control and prevention methods to be optimized.
 A wide variety of corrosion measurement techniques exists, including:
Non Destructive Testing AnalyticalChemistry
 Analytical Chemistry
• Ultrasonic testing
• pH measurement
• Radiography
• Dissolved gas (O
, CO
, H
• Thermography
• Metal ion count (Fe
, Fe
• Eddy current/magnetic flux
• Microbiological analysis
• Intelligent pigs
Operational Data
Fluid Electrochemistry
• pH
• Potential measurement
• Flow rate (velocity)
• Potentiostatic measurements
• Pressure
• Potentiodynamic measurements
• Temperature
 A.C. impedance
Corrosion Monitoring
• Weight loss coupons
• Electrical resistance
• Linear polarization
• Hydrogen penetration
• Galvanic current
Some corrosion measurement techniques can be used on-line, constantly exposed to the processstream, while others provide off-line measurement, such as that determined in a laboratory analysis.Some techniques give a direct measure of metal loss or corrosion rate, while others are used to infer thata corrosive environment may exist.
Corrosion monitoring is the practice of measuring the corrosivity of process stream conditions by the useof "probes" which are inserted into the process stream and which are continuously exposed to theprocess stream condition.
Corrosion monitoring "probes" can be mechanical, electrical, or electrochemical devices.
Corrosion monitoring techniques alone provide direct and online measurement of metal loss/corrosionrate in industrial process systems.
Typically, a corrosion measurement, inspection and maintenance program used in any industrial facilitywill incorporate the measurement elements provided by the four combinations of on-line/offline,direct/indirect measurements.
Corrosion Monitoring Direct, On-line
Non Destructive Testing Direct, Off-line
Analytical Chemistry Indirect, Off-line
Operational Data Indirect, On-line
In a well controlled and coordinated program, data from each source will be used to draw meaningfulconclusions about the operational corrosion rates with the process system and how these are mosteffectively minimized.
The Need for Corrosion Monitoring
The rate of corrosion dictates how long any process plant can be usefully and safely operated. Themeasurement of corrosion and the action to remedy high corrosion rates permits the most cost effectiveplant operation to be achieved while reducing the life-cycle costs associated with the operation.
Corrosion monitoring techniques can help in several ways:
by providing an early warning that damaging process conditions exist which may result in acorrosion-induced failure.
by studying the correlation of changes in process parameters and their effect on systemcorrosivity.
by diagnosing a particular corrosion problem, identifying its cause and the rate controllingparameters, such as pressure, temperature, pH, flow rate, etc.
by evaluating the effectiveness of a corrosion control/prevention technique such as chemicalinhibition and the determination of optimal applications.
by providing management information relating to the maintenance requirements and ongoingcondition of plant.
Corrosion Monitoring Techniques
 A large number of corrosion monitoring techniques exist. The following list details the most commontechniques which are used in industrial applications:
Corrosion Coupons (weight loss measurements)
Electrical Resistance (ER)
Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR)
Galvanic (ZRA) / Potential
Hydrogen Penetration
Other techniques do exist, but almost all require some expert operation, or otherwise are not sufficientlyrugged or adaptable to plant applications.
Of the techniques listed above, corrosion coupons, ER, and LPR form the core of industrial corrosionmonitoring systems. The four other techniques are normally found in specialized applications which arediscussed later.
These corrosion monitoring techniques have been successfully applied and are used in an increasingrange of applications because:
The techniques are easy to understand and implement.
Equipment reliability has been demonstrated in the field environment over many years of operational application.
Results are easy to interpret.
Measuring equipment can be made intrinsically safe for hazardous area operation.
Users have experienced significant economic benefit through reduced plant down time and plantlife extension.
Corrosion Coupons (Weight Loss)
The Weight Loss technique is the best known and simplest of all corrosionmonitoring techniques. The method involves exposing a specimen of material(the coupon) to a process environment for a given duration, then removing thespecimen for analysis. The basic measurement which is determined fromcorrosion coupons is weight loss; the weight loss taking place over the period of exposure being expressed as corrosion rate.
The simplicity of the measurement offered by the corrosion coupon is such thatthe coupon technique forms the baseline method of measurement in many corrosion monitoringprograms.
The technique is extremely versatile, since weight loss coupons can be fabricated from any commerciallyavailable alloy. Also, using appropriate geometric designs, a wide variety of corrosion phenomena may bestudied which includes, but is not limited to:
Stress-assisted corrosion
Bimetallic (galvanic) attack
Differential aeration
Heat-affected zones
 Advantages of weight loss coupons are that:
The technique is applicable to all environments - gases, liquids, solids/particulate flow.
Visual inspection can be undertaken.
Corrosion deposits can be observed and analyzed.

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