Typical E&P process conditions
• Temperature – Typical E&P process temperatures range from -100ºC to >200ºC – Corrosion rates increase with temperature Pressure – Pressure: up to 10,000psi – Increase partial pressure of dissolved gases Flowrate & flow regime – High-flow: erosion and corrosion-erosion. – Low-flow or stagnant conditions promote bacteria

Internal corrosion
Hydrocarbon phase • Not normally corrosive at temperatures experienced in production systems • Corrosivity depends on extent and distribution of the aqueous and hydrocarbon phases. Aqueous phase • Responsible for corrosion • Corrosion exacerbated by acid gases & organic acids • CO2, H2S and O2 are the most aggressive species • Chlorides increase corrosion • Generally, – ‘no water, no corrosion’

Internal (process-side) damage mechanisms
• • • • • • • • • • H 2S CO2 Solids & velocity effects Chlorides – pitting, stress corrosion cracking Oxygen (crevice / under deposit / differential aeration) Galvanic corrosion Preferential weld corrosion (PWC) Microbially induced corrosion (MIC) Liquid metal embrittlement (LME) Chemicals



Dissolved gas - effect on corrosion

Corroded seawater injection
Corrosion Rate of Carbon Steel

25 20 15 10 5
0 O2 0 H2S 0 CO

O2 CO2 H2S


0 100


1200 2 3003
100 150



4 4 400 200

5 5 500 250

6 600 7700 8 800
300 350 400




Dissolved Gas Concentration in Water Phase, ppm

There is no species more corrosive on a concentration basis than oxygen!



H2S corrosion – metal loss
– Formation of a thin protective FeS surface film often means general corrosion rates are low on steels – Main risk is localised pitting corrosion where film is damaged – Pitting will be galvanically driven


Wet H2S corrosion
• H2S is soluble in water – Produces a weak acid and lowers the pH H2S  H+ + SH– At low concentrations, H2S helps form protective FeS film – Main risk is localised pitting corrosion which can be rapid • H2S also poisons combination of atomic hydrogen into molecular hydrogen Atomic H+ + e-  H hydrogen H + H  H2


dangerous to steels!!


Cracking in sour service
H2 H H+
2+ Fe 2S
FeS Film Metal Matrix


Applied Stress
Higher Strength Steels YS > 500 MPa

No Applied Stress
Low Strength Steels YS < 550 MPa




Sulphide stress cracking (SSC)
Key parameters: • pH and pH2S – Domain diagrams for carbon steel • Material hardness – High strength steels and areas of high hardness susceptible. • Temperature – Maximum susceptibility at low temperatures for carbon steels (15-25°C), higher for CRAs (570°C). • Stress – Cracking promoted by high stress levels e.g. residual welding



Hardness readings


Protection against SSC
• • Avoid wetness Minimise hardness – Guidance on limits in ISO 15156 • Optimise microstructure and minimise residual stresses
Upgrade to CRAs • Martensitic and duplex stainless steels have limited resistance • H2S limits for duplex and super-duplex steels are complex – Function of temperature, pH, chlorides, pH2S • Nickel-base alloys such as 625 and 825 have high resistance • Testing: NACE TM0177


ISO 15156 SSC zones for carbon steel
Service Domain
0.0034bar a 0.05psia

Max hardness (parent metal, HAZ, weld metal) No requirements 300HV 280HV 250HV root 275HV cap

0 1 2 3


SSC limits for selected CRAs
Alloy 13% Cr martensitic 22% Cr duplex 25% Cr super-duplex Alloy 825 Alloy 625 pH2S limit (bara) 0.008 0.10 0.25 No limit No limit


HIC / SWC / blistering
• Laminar cracking in plane of inclusions or blistering (HIC). • Transverse cracking between laminar cracks on different planes (SWC).

Hydroge n blisters

Step-wise cracking

Blistering of CS plate


Avoiding HIC / SWC
• • • • • Avoid plate steels (rolled) – otherwise qualify by HIC test Control impurities e.g. S, P Uniform microstructure Use internal coatings – isolate steel from process fluid Testing: NACE TM0284




ISO 15156 (NACE MR0175)
• ISO 15156 combination of – NACE MR0175 and NACE testing requirements TM0177 & TM0284 – European Federation of Corrosion Guidelines No.16 & 17 • Part 1: General principles for selecting crack-resistant materials • Part 2: Cracking resistant carbon & low-alloy steels & cast iron • Part 3: Cracking resistant corrosion resistant alloys (CRAs) • Covers all cracking mechanisms • Goes beyond application of the 0.05 psia pH2S threshold for sour service • It is the equipment user’s responsibility to select suitable materials • HIC/SWC of flat rolled carbon steel products for environments containing even trace amounts of H2S to be evaluated • BP ETP: GP 06-20 Materials for Sour Service


Designing for H2S service
• Materials requirements – Reference ISO 15156 and GP 06-20 – pH2S and pH – Temperature – Chlorides – Hardness limits Welding QA/QC (HIC) – Maintain hardness limits HIC testing for plate products

• •




CO2 - containing environments
• CO2 always present in produced fluids – Corrosive to carbon steel when water present – Most CRAs have good resistance to CO2 corrosion. Mechanism CO2 + H2O  H2CO3 H2CO3 + e- HCO3- + H 2H H2 Fe  Fe2+ + 2eFe + H2O + CO2 FeCO3 + H2


Types of CO2 damage

General & pitting corrosion

Mesa corrosion

Flow-assisted-corrosion (CO2)

Localised weld corrosion


CO2 corrosion in a production flowline

• 6” CS production flowline (Magnus, 1983) • 25mm thick, 90bar, 30°C, 2%CO2 • Heavily pitted pipe wall and welds (not necessarily uniform corrosion) • Didn’t fail – removed due to crevice corrosion of hub sealing faces 25

Factors in CO2 corrosion
• Main factors pCO2, temperature, velocity, pH – CO2 prediction model

For an ideal gas mixture, the partial pressure is the pressure exerted by one component if it alone occupied the volume. Total pressure is the sum of the partial pressures of each gas component in the mixture

Temperature, (ºC)

pCO2 (bar) Carbon steel corrosion rate (mm/yr) 0.6 0.6 30 7 6 >50

130 75 149


Effect of sand on CO2 corrosion
• • Produced sand can affect inhibitor efficiency – Inhibitor adsorption loss Sand (and other solid) deposits give increased risk of localised corrosion; – Prevent access of corrosion inhibitor to the metal – Provide locations for bacteria proliferation – Galvanic effects (area under deposit at more negative potential than area immediately adjacent to deposit) – Formation of concentration cells/gradients


Mitigation of CO2 corrosion
• Internal CO2 corrosion of carbon steel needs to be managed – Usually mitigate by chemical inhibitors – Simple geometries only (mainly pipelines) Assume inhibitor availability (90-95%) – Inhibited corrosion rate of 0.1mm/year – Remaining time at full predicted corrosion rate – Apply a corrosion allowance for the design life – If calculated corrosion allowance >8mm use CRAs


CO2 corrosion inhibition
• • • • Filming type Retention time Continuous injection Adsorption onto clean surfaces

Clean steel


CO2 + H2S corrosion – metal loss
CO2/H2S > 500 500 > CO2/H2S > 20 20 > CO2/H2S > 0.05 • H2S corrosion (CO2/H2S < 20) – Initial corrosion rate high – Protective FeS film quickly slows down corrosion to low level – The corrosion rate is much less than the Cassandra prediction CO2 dominates mixed CO2/H2S H2S dominates


H2S + CO2 materials selection guide
)r ab2 (
Duplex SS 13% Cr SS Nickel-based alloys

Carbon/low alloy steels

e pl a tr aP r i

Partial pressure H2S (bar)



Flow regimes
• Various multi-phase flow regimes possible; − erosion characteristics − distribution of phases − carrier phase for solids • Flow regimes with particles in the gas show higher erosion rates than those with particles in the liquid phase.
Bubble (bubbly) flow

Liq uid Ga s Liq uid Stratified

G as

Plug flow

Ga s Liq uid Wave (wavy) flow Ga Liq s uid Slug flow

Gas Liq Annular uid

Churn flow

Mist (spray) flow

Erosion & erosioncorrosion
• Erosion – Caused by high velocity impact & cutting action of liquid and/or solid particles – Erosion failures can be rapid Erosion-corrosion – Occurs in environments that are both erosive and corrosive. – Erosion and corrosion can be independent or synergistic.

Erosion of tungsten carbide choke trim


Typical vulnerable areas for erosion
• Areas wherever flow is restricted or disturbed
– T-pieces, bends, chokes, valves, weld beads

• • Trinidad

Areas exposed to excessive flow rates Sand washing
– Washing infrequently allowing sand to accumulate – High pressure drop during washing of separators

Sea water systems
– High flow areas in water injection / cooling systems

Algeria (duplex)

Erosion in piping
• Sand accumulation
– Build up of sand in a test separator

Pressure drop
– Large pressure drop across sand drain pipework during washing

Rapid failure
– Occurred within 2 minutes of opening the drain

Erosion at bend

Erosion in a vessel
• Sand allowed to accumulate in separator – Wash nozzles embedded in sand • PCV not working properly – High pressure / flowrate – Nozzle not erosion-resistant – Erosion of wash nozzle – Spray changed to a jet causing erosion of shell • Local changes to operating procedures not communicated – Frequency of sand washing – Risk not captured or assessed in RBI

Water spray

Water jet


Erosion of sandwash nozzle




• Occurs in environments that can be erosive and corrosive. • Erosion and corrosion can either be: – independent of each other; • wastage equals sum of individual wastage rates – synergistic; • wastage rate > sum of individual rates • localised protective film breakdown at bends, elbows areas of turbulence



• Water speed or local turbulence damages or removes protective film • 90-10 Cu-Ni susceptible to internal erosion-corrosion (impingement) at velocities >3.5ms-1 • Water-swept pits (horse-shoe shaped)

• • Occurs at high fluid velocities Formation & collapse of vapour bubbles in liquid flow on metal surface. No solids required Typical locations
– Pump impellers (rapid change in pressure which damages films) – Stirrers, hydraulic propellers

• •

Use erosion resistant materials
– Stellite, tungsten carbide




Raw seawater
• Composition of raw seawater varies around the world – Temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, marine life Very corrosive to unprotected carbon steel, other materials susceptible to pitting and crevice corrosion Select seawater resistant materials – Super-duplex grades, 6Mo, CuNi, titanium Consider galvanic corrosion – Most seawater resistant grades of stainless steel and Ni-Cr-Mo alloys are compatible with each other in seawater. Seawater can cause SCC of 300-series, duplex grades and 6Mo

• • •

Pitting resistance of stainless steels
• • • • Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number (PREw) Formula for comparing relative pitting resistance Applicable to stainless steels & Ni-Cr-Fe alloys Typically PREw ≥40 required for exposure to raw sea water <30ºC Alternatively, use titanium or GRE Alloy 13Cr 316ss Alloy 825 22Cr duplex 25Cr superduplex Alloy 625 PREw 13 23 28 33 40 46

PREw = %Cr + 3.3x (%Mo + 0.5%W) + 16%N


Internal & external pitting

Internal pitting

• • •

Section of 3” 316L pipe fitting Failed due to internal corrosion (pinhole leak) Poor hydrotest practice - seawater left within spool

Failure of a seawater pump cooling coil……

Indication on coil

External surface of coil

Internal surface of coil

316 SS coil, raw seawater service, hypochlorite added Shellside: lube oil up to 50°C Tubeside: seawater inlet ~6°C, return ~18°C Failed due to localised internal pitting – 316 SS has low PREw • Material upgrade required • • • •

Oxygen - concentration cells
• Crevice corrosion – O2 is consumed in the crevice and becomes the anode – pH decreases in the crevice increasing attack • Differential aeration cells – Air/water interfaces with attack below the water line e.g. splash zone – Pipelines in soils containing different amounts of oxygen • Under deposit corrosion – Deposits of scale, sand or sludge – Produces differential concentration – SRBs thrive - H2S pitting

Crevice corrosion under baffle


Galvanic corrosion
• Three conditions are required for galvanic corrosion; – A conducting electrolyte (typically seawater). – Two different metals in contact with the electrolyte. – An electrical connection between the two metals. Relative positions within the electrochemical series (for given electrolyte) provides driving potential and affects rate. Corrosion of base metal (anode) stimulated by contact with noble metal (cathode). Relative area of anode and cathode can significantly affect corrosion rate. Higher conductivity increases corrosion e.g. presence of salts

• • • •


Galvanic corrosion – firewater piping
• • • • Firewater – CuNi / super duplex stainless steel connections. 4”CuNi pipe with a 550mm isolation spool (i.e. 5x OD) Leaks experienced on CuNi spools at welds Same problems with CuNi / 6Mo


Galvanic corrosion - seal rings
• • ETAP platform Techlok joints in a firewater piping system – Piping: super-duplex – Seal rings: 17-4PH


Dealloying of brass
• Brass tubesheet in seawater service – Brass is Cu-Zn alloy – Cu is more noble than Zn – Zn dissolves preferentially leaving Cu behind • Result – Loss of strength – Difficult to seal • Remedy – Add arsenic to the brass


Mitigation of galvanic corrosion
• Avoid dissimilar materials in seawater system designs – MoC for later changes Avoid small anode/large cathode Avoid graphite gaskets & seals Avoid connecting carbon steel to titanium alloys – Galvanic corrosion or hydrogen charging of titanium may occur
• Electrical isolation between different alloy classes • Install distance spools, separation of at least 20x pipe diameters – Solid non-conducting spool e.g. GRP – Line the noble metal internally with an electrically nonconducting material e.g. rubber • Apply a non-conducting internal coating on the more noble material. Extend coating for 20 pipe diameters.

• • •

Example : CuNi-Super duplex

Distance spool: solid, non-conducting material e.g. GRP

Distance spool: noble metal internally lined with an electrically non-conducting material such as rubber

Apply a non-conducting internal coating on the more noble 53 material.

Cathodic protection (CP) – what is it?
• By connecting an external anode to the component to be protected and passing a dc current, it becomes cathodic and does not corrode. – External anode may be a galvanic (sacrificial) anode, the current is the result of the potential difference between the two metals – External anode may be an impressed current anode, current is supplied from an external dc power source. • CP is mostly applied to coated, immersed and buried structures – The coating is the primary protection, acting as a barrier between the metal and the environment – CP protects steel at coating defects • Coating + CP is most practical and economic protection system. – Primary principle in GP 06-31


Cathodic protection – how does it work?
• CP works by making the component to be protected the cathode in an electrolytic cell • When two metals are connected in an electrolyte, electrons flow from the anode to the cathode due difference in the electrical potential


Magnesium Zinc Aluminium Iron (steel) Copper Stainless steels Titanium Graphite

Corrosion of steel by copper plating

Cathodic protection of steel by zinc 55 plating

Galvanic (sacrificial) CP
• • Aluminium anodes: require alloy additions to become active e.g. Zn + In, high efficiency (>90%). – Typically used in seawater applications. Zinc anodes: ambient applications only. Alloyed with Al or Cd to improve efficiency. – Typically used on coated pipelines in seawater Magnesium anodes: large driving potential, alloyed with e.g. Al or Zn to reduce rapid activation, limited efficiency Sacrificial anodes, (50-60%) new and wasted – Used in soils and other high-resistance environments (risk of over(therefore working!) protection/rapid consumption in seawater).

Applications of internal CP
• Anodes in shell & tube seawater cooler water boxes

• •

Oil storage tanks (in water bottom) Water tanks

•Stainless steel piping systems in warm/hot chlorinated seawater. −To avoid high anode consumption rates, resistor controlled CP (RCP) systems should be considered. −E.g. RCP + 25Cr super duplex piping instead of titanium or other higher-alloy CRA. −Used on Greater Plutonio

Chloride stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
• Susceptibility varies considerably (no absolutes); – Material grade, strength, residual stress, chlorides, oxygen and temperature 300-series austenitic stainless steels susceptible to at temps >50°C Highly-alloyed austenitic and duplex SS have improved resistance Nickel-base alloys with Ni ≥ 42% are highly resistant, e.g. 825

Chloride SCC (22Cr duplex vessel drain)

• 22Cr duplex drain ex-production separator − heat-traced to 60°C (vessel temp up to 105°C) • Internal chloride SCC (cracking in parent metal, HAZ and weld metal) • Contributory factors: − Susceptible material − Local stress concentration (weld toe and lack of support) − Environment (elevated temperature, chlorides).

Oxygen: • Trace amounts corrosive to carbon steel. As a guide: – <20ppb O2 maintains general corrosion rates <0.25mm/yr – Stricter limits often applied e.g. <10ppb if 13Cr completions Microbial-induced Corrosion, MIC • SRB require anaerobic conditions – deaerated water – conditions within and under biofilms • SRB use sulphate in water in their metabolisms to generate H2S

Water injection systems (deaerated)

Fluid Velocity: • Areas of high fluid velocity or turbulence and O2 – O2 from poor deaeration or air ingress – susceptible areas include pump discharge piping, bends tees and reducers.


Mitigation & monitoring
• Deaeration and supplementary O2 scavenging – Monitor O2 concentrations on-line (orbisphere) or colorimetric analysis – Maintain oxygen scavenger residual to mop-up oxygen spikes. • Chlorination u/s of deaerator, biocide applied into or d/s of deaerator • Effective biociding based on; – Type, frequency, dosage, duration • Bacterial monitoring (sidestreams, scrapings or bioprobes) • Corrosion monitoring

Leaking deaerator

Seawater injection tubing


Preferential weld corrosion (PWC)
• • The selective corrosion of weld zones (WM/HAZ) Relevant factors include; – Electrochemical properties of the materials and any corrosion cell forming around the weld joint – Water phase liquid film thickness and conductivity – Temperature and tendency to form protective scale – Corrosion inhibitor effectiveness, (film formation, composition) – Weld joint metallurgy – Flow pattern and flow induced shear stress • PWC rate of attack can be high, up to 12mm/yr observed

Preferential weld corrosion (1%Ni) Water Injection: Wet hydrocarbon service:
• 1% Ni-containing welds beneficial for avoiding PWC in WI systems. • Weld cathodic to parent metal, protected by large area of parent metal.
• Lower conductivity, no benefit of selecting ‘cathodic’ weld metal • Reliant on intrinsic corrosion resistance of the weld metal • Require corrosion inhibitor for protection (test against WM and PM) • Attack of weld metal promoted by under-dosing of inhibitor (WM needs more inhibitor than PM)

Welds exposed to hydrocarbon service


Lomond drains - PWC
• • • • • • TEG contactor scrubber drain pipework (hydrocarbon) Carbon steel parent metal ~2%Ni deposited in weld metal Groove along 6 o’clock position Accelerated corrosion at the weld Large number of isolations, extensive inspection and repair




Microbially induced corrosion (MIC)
• Anaerobic environments often support development of biofilms. • Sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) thrive in anaerobic conditions • SRB biofilms generate H2S • FeS corrosion product cathodic to bare steel, increasing corrosion rate. • MIC of carbon steel usually localized pitting under biofilm. • Corrosion rates of 5-10 mm/yr seen • CRAs also susceptible


Bacterial growth factors
• pH MIC growth in pH 5-9.5 range • Temperature SRB can grow in temps of 5-100°C. Optimum temp <45ºC. • Sulphates – Necessary for SRB activity. – Growth restricted if <10 ppm
• Carbon source SRB growth restricted if organic carbon (volatile fatty acids) not available (<20ppm) • Nitrogen Important but at levels which are difficult to detect • Flow – Highest corrosion rates in stagnant conditions. – Biofilms unstable at high flows.


Deadlegs – types & locations
• A deadleg is a section of pipework or vessel which contains hydrocarbon fluids and/or water under – stagnant conditions (permanent or intermittent) – or where there is no measurable flow. Permanent or physical deadlegs (long term stagnation by design) Operational deadlegs (stagnant for operational reasons) Unprotected mothballed items (plus those temporarily out of service)

• • •


Examples of deadlegs


Deadlegs – assessment factors
• • • • • • • • • • • • Consequence of failure Location of pipework Nutrients replenished by regularly opening /closing valves? Is draining of pipework possible? Is removal of deadleg possible? Presence of SRBs, deposits, biocide? Material of construction Wall thickness Fluid type (aqueous phase, sulphates, nutrients, oxygen ingress) Temperature Stagnant – permanent/intermittent Prior history of corrosion


Example of deadleg corrosion

Pin Hole leaks Releasing water

• Crude oil recycle cooler bypass • Scale-inhibited seawater left in line after leak test (of u/s valve) • Severe corrosion rate at and around pinhole. • Fortunately, a leak of water not crude. • Two week shutdown


Root causes

• Failure to identify the bypass line as an operational deadleg • No deadleg register • Failure to recognise introduction of new corrosion hazard • No mitigation measures.
Photo 1

250 mm

80 mm

Area of internal corrosion 4.2 mm tapering out to average wall thickness of 10.0 mm

30 mm 110 mm

Area of internal corrosion reading from 3.5 mm tapering out to average of 10.7mm


Corroded area approx 80mm x72 110mm.

Mitigation & inspection
• Flush system of deposits and treat with biocide, nitrate • Out of service items – Biocide treat or mothball procedure • Use treated water – Hydrotest & washing • Profile radiography or UT scanning – low points, bottom of vertical sections etc. • Lowest parts of vessel bridle together with any associated level gauges.



Corrosion due to chemicals
• • • Chemicals can be corrosive Carbon steel OK for non-corrosive chemical piping, e.g. methanol Corrosive chemicals (e.g. concentrated solutions of inhibitors and biocides) require CRAs – vendor will specify
– 316 SS is typical

Notable exceptions:
– Hypochlorite: very corrosive, titanium or GRP piping required – Avoid titanium alloys in dry methanol service due SCC

SCC of a titanium seal exposed to pure methanol instead of 5% water content


Corrosion due to chemicals
• Carbon steel open drain pipework. • Seepage of scale inhibitor (passing valve) • Scale inhibitor pH <2. • Chemical entered drains, not flushed


Injection point issues
• Inadequate mixing – corrosion • Intermittent use – switch off when not flowing • Areas affected – Impingement / turbulent areas – Bends and low points • Use quill/other mixer – Upgrade material – Thicker schedule • Valve arrangement – Make self-draining – Enable quill removal

Injected Fluid

Main Flow



High temperature corrosion
• • Environments less common in E&P – Flare tips, fired heaters, boilers Oxidation – Oxidation significant >530°C – Oxidation rate varies with temp, gas composition and alloy Cr content • Firetubes: usually CS, but CrMo alloys needed for high temps • Flare tips: 310 SS, alloy 800H Other high temperature mechanisms – sulphidation (H2S and SO2) – carburizing, metal dusting, hot salt – thermal fatigue and creep


Amine stress corrosion cracking
• • • Material: carbon/low-alloy steels Environment: aqueous amine systems Cracking due to residual stresses at/next to non-PWHT’d weldments – Cracking develops parallel to the weld Mitigation: – PWHT all CS welds including repair and internal/external attachment welds. – Use solid/clad stainless steel • 304 SS or 316 SS

Intergranular cracking

Amine piping welds require PWHT to avoid SCC

Corrosion in glycol system
• • Glycol usually regarded as benign Corrosion in glycol regeneration systems usually due to; – Acid gases absorbed by rich glycol or – Organic acids from oxidation of glycol and thermal decomposition products Condensation of low pH water giving carbonic acid attack. Risk recognised in design – On-skid: CRA piping & clad vessels – However, off-skid piping mix of regular CS and LTCS

• •

Corrosion fatigue
• Combined action of cyclic tensile stress and a corrosive environment • Fatigue is caused by cyclic stressing below the yield stress – Cracks start at stress raisers – Can occur due to vibration e.g. smallbore nozzles & with heavy valve attachments • Presence of corrosive environment exacerbates the problem – Can lead to pitting, which acts as stress concentrators


Example of corrosion fatigue
• 2” A106 GrB carbon steel piping • Wet gas service, 1.2%CO2 and 160ppm H2S • Operating @ 120°C and 70bar • Elbow exposed to vibration (used in a gas compression train) • Crack located at 12 o'clock position • Crack initiated internally




External corrosion
• • • • • • External corrosion of unprotected steel surfaces External corrosion of coated surfaces Corrosion under insulation (CUI) Corrosion under fireproofing (CUF) Pitting & crevice Corrosion Environmental cracking


Where does it occur?
• • • • • • Bare steel surfaces At locations of coating breakdown Under deposits such as dirt, adhesive tape or nameplates Mating faces between pipe/pipe support saddles & clamps Isolated equipment not maintained or adequately mothballed Water sources include: – sea spray and green water (FPSO or semi-sub) – rain – deluge water – leaking process water – condensation – downwind of cooling towers.


What does it look like?

• Damage can be extensive or localised. • Corrosion can be general attack, pitting or cracking. • Seen as flaking, cracking, and blistering of coating with corrosion of the substrate.


• Carbon/low alloy steels usually covered in compact scale/thick scab • Stainless steels have light stains on the surface possibly with stained water droplets and / or salts. • Corroding copper alloys covered in blue/green corrosion products.


Piping, supports & clamps


Not just carbon steel
• • • • • 25Cr super-duplex (PREN ≥40) Seawater service 12 months exposure in tropical climate External corrosion along welds Poor quality fabrication


Corrosion of bolts and fasteners
• • Bolted joints – Onshore and offshore: exposed to frequent wetting Low alloy bolts – General or localised corrosion – Galvanic corrosion in stainless steel flanges CRA bolts susceptible to pitting and/or SCC Crevice corrosion under bolt heads and nuts Hydrogen embrittlement possible Fatigue

• • • •


Corrosion of bolts and fasteners

General corrosion

Galvanic corrosion

Crevice corrosion

Stress corrosion cracking


Flanged connections
• Corrosion – General surface corrosion – Galvanic corrosion • e.g. 316 SS / carbon steel • Use of graphite gaskets • Potential problems – Failure of flanged connection due to corroded fasteners – Joint leak • Corrective actions – Change gasket/fastener materials – Replace graphite gaskets with non-asbestos or rubber material

Corroded fasteners (seawater service)

Location of graphite gaskets


Structures / valves
• Valves – Valve handles – Chain-wheels – Valve body • Structures – Stairways and walkways – Gratings, ladders, handrails – Cable trays and unistruts • Threaded plugs – Valve bodies, xmas trees, piping – Dissimilar metals


Coating damage and breakdown
• Deterioration of coating with time – All paints let water through - continuously wet areas will fail • Poor original surface preparation / paint application • Mechanical damage – Small area of damage can lead to major corrosion


External cathodic protection
• Types of structures with external CP
– Buried pipelines / structures / piping / tanks – Floors of above-ground storage tanks – Submerged jetty structures

Factors affecting corrosion
– Extent of wetness – Oxygen – depends on depth – Resistivity of soil & presence of salts – Equipment temperature


Impressed current CP
• Adjustable dc source – Negative terminal connected to the steel structure – Positive terminal connected to the anodes • Typically used on larger structures where galvanic anodes cannot economically deliver enough current.


Corrosion under insulation (CUI) and Corrosion under fireproofing (CUF)
• CUI – Water seeps into insulation and becomes trapped, results in wetting and corrosion of the metal – Carbon steel corrodes in the presence of water due to the availability of oxygen. CUF – Same mechanism except water gets behind the fireproofing.


• Typical insulation types; – Process – Personnel protection (PP) – Winterisation – Acoustic • Challenge the need – Remove unnecessary insulation – Replace PP with cages

Mitred joint

‘Lobster-back’ joint

Pre-formed bends


CUI incident
• • • • • • • 4” gas compression recycle line Operating pressure, 35bar – 3 bar pressure surge Temperature: 50ºC 6.02mm nominal WT Rockwool insulation Extensive corrosion – rupture Unusual, burst rather than leaked


CUI gas leak
• 2” fuel gas piping outside edge of platform - exposed • CS, heat-traced, Rockwool • Operating @ 5bar, 45°C, 5.4mm NWT • Failed during plant start-up • External corrosion scale, CUI
• • • Focus on internal corrosion Previous survey found defect in an adjacent line. Failed line in survey but not failed area. – Features selected from onshore not site survey


piping CUI
• 4” CS hydrocarbon line • 55°C, inlet to PSV (153 bar) • Thermally-sprayed aluminium (TSA) • CUI found, radiographed – ok to refurbish. • Found during needle-gunning (paint removal) • Max pit depth 10mm • Insulation permanently removed

CUI on pressure vessel
• CS offshore vessel • Operating at 85°C and 11 bar • PFP coating (passive fire protection) • Extensive corrosion scabbing on both sides of vessel. • Scaling runs in two horizontal distinct lines along each side. • Scaling directly above lower seam of insulation – location of water retention.




External pitting & crevice corrosion
• Stainless steels in marine environments (chlorides, O2) – 316L stainless steel commonly used for instrument tubing – Particularly susceptible at supports and fittings. • Primary mitigation is materials selection (higher PREw) – Tungum, 6Mo, super-duplex • Alternative mitigation methods (coating, cleaning), not easy or practical.


Instrument tubing (316 SS and super-duplex)
316 SS tubing super-duplex tubing

316 SS (pitting/crevice corrosion) pitting)

super-duplex (no


Crevice corrosion under clamps/supports
• Pitting and crevice corrosion of 316ss piping – Clamps – Plastic retaining blocks


External chloride stress corrosion cracking
• • Mechanism same as internal chloride SCC however: Numerous variables influence susceptibility therefore guidance differs – Material, stress, chlorides, oxygen and temperature – No absolute guidance available, seek expert advice

Chloride SCC is characterised by transgranular crack paths


External stress corrosion cracking
• • UK HSE: – Coat 22Cr duplex >80°C NORSOK M-001 SCC temp limits: – 22Cr duplex >100°C – 25Cr super-duplex >110°C Recent testing has shown failures at 80°C – now recommend 70°C as limit Reliant on external coatings to act as barrier (isolate from environment) Beware solar heating - can raise external temperature above threshold limits! – SCC failure of 316L

• •

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