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Optical Fibre Sensor System for Multipoint Corrosion Detection 35

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OpticaI Fibre Sensor System for
MuItipoint Corrosion Detection

}oaquin I. Marlins-IiIho and Lduardo Ionlana
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1. Introduction

Over lhe pasl lhirly years lhere has leen inlense research and deveIopnenl on oplicaI filre
sensors for nany appIicalions, lasicaIIy lecause of lheir advanlages over olher lechnoIogies,
such as innunily lo eIeclronagnelic inlerference, Iighlveighl, snaII size, high sensilivily,
Iarge landvidlh, and ease in signaI Iighl lransnission. The appIicalions incIude sensing
lenperalure, slrain, pressure, currenl/voIlage, chenicaI/gas, dispIacenenl, and lioIogicaI
processes anong olhers. To acconpIish lhose, differenl oplicaI lechnoIogies have leen
enpIoyed such as filre graling, inlerferonelry, Iighl scallering and refIeclonelry, Iaraday
rolalion, Iuninescence and olhers. A reviev on filre sensors can le found in (Lee, 2OO3).
Corrosion and ils effecls have a profound inpacl on lhe infraslruclure and equipnenl of
counlries vorIdvide. This inpacl is nanifesled in significanl nainlenance, repair, and
repIacenenl efforls, reduced access, avaiIaliIily and produclion, poor perfornance, high
environnenlaI risks, and unsafe condilions associaled vilh faciIilies and equipnenl. There
have leen sone efforls fron differenl counlries lo eslinale lhe cosl of corrosion and lhe
resuIls indicale lhal il can reach 2 lo 5 of lhe gross nalionaI producl. Ior exanpIe,
corrosion danage represenled an eslinaled cosl of US$ 276 liIIions in lhe Uniled Slales of
Anerica in 2OO2 (Thonpson el aI., 2OO5). Therefore, corrosion noniloring is an inporlanl
aspecl of nodern infraslruclure in induslry seclors such as nining, aircrafl, shipping,
oiIfieIds, as veII as in niIilary and civiI faciIilies.
OplicaI filre-lased corrosion sensors have leen invesligaled in recenl years nainIy lecause
of lhe advanlages ollained ly lhe use of oplicaI filres, as aIready poinled oul. A shorl
reviev of lhe lechnoIogies enpIoyed in lhe filre-lased corrosion sensors can le found in
(Wade el aI., 2OO8). The reporled appIicalions incIude corrosion noniloring in aircrafls
(enounis & }affrezic-RenauIl, 2OO4), in lhe concrele of roadvays and lridges (Iuhr &
Huslon, 1998) and in oiIfieIds.

2. Corrosion Monitoring in Deepwater OiIfieId PipeIines

In lhe oiI induslry, lo vhich ve focus lhe sensing approach descriled in lhis chapler, a very
chaIIenging prolIen is lhal reIaled lo surveiIIance and nainlenance of deepvaler oiIfieId
pipeIines, given lhe harsh environnenl lo le nonilored and lhe Iong dislances invoIved.
3
Optical Fibre, New Developments 36

These slruclures are suljecl lo corrosion and sand-induced erosion in a high pressure, high
lenperalure environnenl. Moreover, lhe Iong dislances (kiIonelres) lelveen lhe corrosion
poinls and lhe noniloring Iocalion nake lhe connerciaIIy avaiIalIe inslrunenls nol
appropriale for noniloring lhese pipeIines. CoslIy, reguIarIy scheduIed, prevenlive
nainlenance is lhen required (SlaveIey, 2OO4, Yin el aI., 2OOO). LIeclronic and
eIeclronagnelic-lased corrosion sensors (Yin el aI., 2OOO, Vaskivsky el aI., 2OO1, Andrade
Lina el aI., 2OO1) are aIso nol suilalIe in lhese condilions. Iilre oplic lased corrosion
sensors are ideaI for lhis appIicalion. Hovever, lhe sensing approaches reporled in lhe
Iileralure are eilher singIe poinl (Qiao el aI., 2OO6, Wade el aI., 2OO8) or use a slripped
cIadding filre slruclure lhal requires a high precision nechanicaI posilioning syslen vilh
noving parls for Iighl deleclion, vhich conpronises lhe roluslness of lhe sensor syslen
(enounis el aI., 2OO3, enounis & }affrezic-RenauIl, 2OO4, Saying el aI., 2OO6, Cardenas-
VaIencia el aI., 2OO7). An oplicaI filre IH sensor has leen recenlIy deveIoped for lhe indirecl
evaIualion of lhe corrosion process in pelroIeun veIIs (Da SiIva }r. el aI., 2OO7). Il enpIoys a
filre ragg graling nechanicaIIy coupIed lo a IH-sensilive hydrogeI, vhich changes ils
voIune according lo lhe IH of lhe nediun. Thus, lhe change in IH is lransIaled inlo a
nechanicaI slrain on lhe ragg graling, vhich can le inlerrogaled ly slandard oplicaI
nelhods. AIlhough il can easiIy le nuIlipIexed for nuIlipoinl neasurenenls, lhis lechnique
is Iiniled lo lhe evaIualion of lhe chenicaI corrosion due lo acid allack inside lhe veII,
disregarding lhe conlined effecls of olher inporlanl sources of corrosion, such as
nechanicaI (erosion), chenicaI, lhernic and lioIogicaI (nicroorganisns). The oiI induslry
can aIso nake use of lhe line donain refIeclonelry (TDR) lechnique lo evaIuale lhe
corrosion process inside pipeIines and oiI veIIs (KohI, 2OOO). The proposed schene invoIves
lhe depIoynenl of a nelaIIic calIe inside and aIong lhe pipeIine or veII. The conduclor is
exposed lo lhe fIuid al seIecled Iocalions such lhal il shouId le susceplilIe lo lhe sane
corrosive processes as lhe pipeIine. A signaI generalor Iaunches a puIsed eIeclricaI signaI lo
lhe conduclor calIe and an eIeclronic receiver neasures lhe refIecled puIses inlensily and
deIay. The refIeclions cone fron lhe Iocalions vhere lhe exposed calIe vas affecled ly lhe
corrosion process, vhich changes ils originaI inpedance. This TDR lechnique has aIso leen
appIied lo lhe noniloring of corrosion in sleeI calIes of lridges (Liu el aI., 2OO2). AIlhough
lhis lechnique has lhe advanlage of leing nuIlipoinl or even dislriluled, il is Iiniled in
reach. Ior praclicaI purposes lhe naxinun dislance covered ly lhe sensor is aloul 2 kn.
This is suilalIe for slandard veIIs, lul nol for deep oiIfieIds, especiaIIy lhose fron lhe
recenlIy discovered presaIl regions in raziI, vhich are over 6 kn deep.

3. A MuItipoint Fibre Optic Corrosion Sensor

We have recenlIy presenled for lhe firsl line lhe concepl and firsl experinenlaI resuIls of a
filre-oplic-lased corrosion sensor using lhe oplicaI line donain refIeclonelry (OTDR)
lechnique as lhe inlerrogalion nelhod (Marlins-IiIho el aI., 2OO7, Marlins-IiIho el aI., 2OO8).
Our proposed sensor syslen is nuIlipoinl, seIf-referenced, has no noving parls and can
delecl lhe corrosion rale severaI kiIonelres avay fron lhe OTDR equipnenl. These fealures
nake il very suilalIe lo lhe prolIen of corrosion noniloring of deepvaler pipeIines in lhe
oiI induslry. Il shouId le poinled oul, hovever, lhal lhe approach is nol Iiniled lo lhis
specific appIicalion and can le enpIoyed lo address a nunler of singIe or nuIlipoinl
corrosion deleclion prolIens in olher induslriaI seclors.
Optical Fibre Sensor System for Multipoint Corrosion Detection 37

In lhis chapler ve presenl a delaiIed descriplion of lhe sensor syslen, furlher experinenlaI
resuIls and lheorelicaI caIcuIalions for lhe neasurenenl of lhe corrosion rale of aIuniniun
fiIns in conlroIIed Ialoralory condilions and aIso for lhe evaIualion of lhe naxinun
nunler of sensor heads lhe syslen supporls.

3.1 Sensor Setup
Our proposed sensor syslen consisls of severaI sensor heads connecled lo a connerciaI
OTDR equipnenl ly a singIe-node oplicaI filre and filre coupIers. Iigure 1 shovs lhe
corrosion sensor selup. The OTDR is connecled lo a 2 kn Iong singIe node oplicaI filre.
DireclionaI coupIers can spIil lhe oplicaI signaI such lhal a snaII fraclion (3 lo 9) is
direcled lo lhe sensing heads. The OTDR operales al 1.55 n, vilh a puIsevidlh of 1O ns,
vhich corresponds lo a spaliaI resoIulion of 2 n. The OTDR is sel lo neasure 5OOOO poinls
for lhe lolaI dislance of 5 kn (one poinl every 1O cn). The oplicaI filres and coupIers are
slandard leIeconnunicalion devices. The sensor heads have 1OO nn of aIuniniun
deposiled on cIeaved filre facels ly a slandard lhernaI evaporalion process and lhey are
nunlered fron 1 lo 11 in Iig. 1.
Iig. 1. Schenalic diagran of lhe corrosion sensor. Sensor heads are nunlered. Iilre Ienglhs
and spIil ralios are shovn.

3.2 ResuIts
Ior Ialoralory neasurenenls lhe corrosion aclion vas sinuIaled ly conlroIIed elching of
lhe AIuniniun fiIn on lhe sensor head. We used 25 H
3
IO
4
: 1 HNO
3
: 5 CH
3
COOH as lhe
AI-elcher. The expecled corrosion rale of AI fron lhis elcher is 5O nn/nin. Iigure 2-a shovs
lhe OTDR lrace vhere each peak, nunlered fron 1 lo 11, indicales lhe refIeclion fron lhe
corresponding sensing head. The head nunler 6 is innersed in lhe AI-elcher. As lhe
aIuniniun is leing renoved fron lhe filre facel lhe refIecled Iighl neasured in lhe OTDR
decreases, as shovn in Iig. 2-l.
In Iig. 3 ve pIol lhe ralio of peak (poinl A) lo vaIIey (poinl ) of lhe refIecled Iighl shovn in
Iig. 2-l as a funclion of lhe aIuniniun corrosion line. Iigure 3 shovs lhal up lo 6O seconds
of corrosion lhere is no significanl change in lhe OTDR neasured refIecled Iighl, since lhe
aIuniniun is sliII loo lhick. Iurlher up fron lhis poinl lhe refIeclion drops lo a nininun
and lhen slaliIizes al a conslanl IeveI. The conslanl IeveI neans lhal lhe corrosion process
on lhe filre facel has ended. We ollain lhe corrosion rale ly laking lhe deposiled nelaI
lhickness and lhe line laken lo reach lhe conslanl IeveI, as shov in Iig. 3.


KdZ
K &

Optical Fibre, New Developments 38


2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6


0
10
20
30
40
50

n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y

(
d
B
)
Distance (Km)


2,338 2,340 2,342 2,344 2,346 2,348 2,350 2,352 2,354 2,356
15
20
25
30
35
40
45

n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y

(
d
B
)
Distance (Km)
Corrosion
Time (s)
68.5
76.9
82.0
84.4
87.6
91.4
94.8
B
A


Iig. 2. (a) OTDR lrace, corresponding lo lhe inlensily of lhe refIecled Iighl as a funclion of
dislance aIong lhe filre. Sensor head nunlers are shovn. (l) OTDR lraces for sensor head
nunler 6, for severaI corrosion lines.
Optical Fibre Sensor System for Multipoint Corrosion Detection 39

The neasured corrosion rale vas 47.5 nn/nin, vhich is very cIose lo lhe expecled vaIue (5O
nn/nin). Olher neasurenenls perforned using differenl sensor heads shoved siniIar
resuIls. Il is inporlanl lo nole lhal since lhe corrosion rale is ollained fron lhe ralio of peak
(poinl A) lo vaIIey (poinl ) of lhe OTDR lrace as a funclion of line, lhis neasurenenl is
seIf-referenced, lecause lhe ralio is innune, lo a cerlain exlenl, lo snaII oplicaI pover
fIuclualions lhal nay occur due lo changes in lhe OTDR signaI pover, oplicaI filre and filre
coupIer Ioss varialions aIong lhe sensor syslen.
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y

(
d
B
)
Corrosion Time (s)
Corrosion Rate
Metal
Thickness
0
100nm

Iig. 3. ReIalive inlensily ollained fron Iig. 2-l, as a funclion of lhe corrosion line. MelaI
lhickness and corrosion rale are shovn.

Iigure 3 aIso shovs a vaIIey in lhe reIalive refIecled inlensily jusl lefore lhe conslanl IeveI
used for corrosion delerninalion. AIlhough lhis fealure does nol seen lo le inporlanl for
lhe delerninalion of lhe corrosion rale, ve verified if il vouId le an arlifacl due lo lhe
puIsed OTDR operalion in lhe nuIlipoinl (nuIlirefIeclion) selup schene shovn in Iig.1, ly
perforning neasurenenls in lhe singIe head selup shov in Iig. 4. This nev selup uses a
CW Iaser source and an oplicaI pover neler, inslead of lhe OTDR. The Iaser Iighl al 1.55 n
fron lhe CW Iaser vilh filre piglaiI is coupIed lo an oplicaI isoIalor and lhen lo a 5O
coupIer and lo a 79/21 coupIer. The oulpul of lhis coupIer has anolher oplicaI isoIalor in one
end and a sensor head in lhe olher end. The sensor head used here is siniIar lo lhose used in
lhe nuIlipoinl selup of Iig. 1. The Iighl refIecled fron lhe sensor head reaches lhe oplicaI
pover neler lhrough lhe oplicaI coupIers. The lvo isoIalors avoid unvanled refIeclions lo
reach lhe pover neler and lhe Iaser source, vhich couId cause inlerference effecls and
inslaliIilies. Ior corrosion neasurenenls ve used lhe sane AIuniniun elcher as descriled
lefore. Iigure 5 shovs lhe oplicaI pover as a funclion of lhe corrosion line ollained fron
lhe singIe head selup of Iig. 4. This resuIl aIso exhilils lhe vaIIey olserved in lhe nuIlipoinl
selup lhal uses lhe OTDR (Iig. 3), indicaling lhal lhis fealure is nol a neasurenenl arlifacl.
AIso, Iig. 5 confirns lhe corrosion rale ollained fron Iig. 3, since lhe conslanl IeveI slarls al
aloul 12O seconds of corrosion.
Optical Fibre, New Developments 40

CW Laser
Coupler
50/50
Coupler
79/21
Isolator Isolator
Power
Meter
Sensor
Head

Iig. 4. Schenalic diagran of lhe singIe head selup.

0 50 100 150 200


-60
-50
-40
-30
-20
-10
P
o
w
e
r

(
d
B
m
)
Time (s)

Iig. 5. RefIecled oplicaI pover fron a singIe head selup as a funclion of lhe corrosion line.

We aIso used lhe IresneI refIeclion fornuIalion (Ionlana & IanleII, 1988) for a siIica-AI-
Iiquid singIe Iayer slruclure, as shovn in Iig. 6, lo sludy lhe refIeclion properlies of lhe
sensing head. NegIecling lhe snaII lean divergence of lhe guided node, lhe refIeclance is
given ly
( )
( )
2
2 0 23 12
2 0 23 12
2 exp 1
2 exp
G N M U U
G N M U U
5
c +
c +
=
, (1)
vhere
L L
L L
L L
U
c + c
c c
=
+
+
+
1
1
1 ,
(2)

is lhe nornaI incidence refIeclivily al lhe inlerface lelveen nedia i and i+1 (i = 1, 2), |
O
=
2/,
i
is lhe reIalive eIeclricaI pernillivily of nediun i (i = 1, 2, 3) and is lhe nelaI fiIn
lhickness.
Optical Fibre Sensor System for Multipoint Corrosion Detection 41

We assuned lhal lhe elching soIulion had a refraclive index cIose lo lhal of pure valer, for
lhe sake of sinpIicily. OplicaI paranelers for siIica (MaIilson, 1965), pure valer (Schielener
el aI., 199O) and AI (Lide, 2OO4) al = 1.55 n vere used in lhe caIcuIalions.

Iiber core
Iiber cladding
Medium 1
(Iiber) c
1
Medium 2
(aluminum) c
2
Medium 3
(liquid) c
3
d

Iig. 6. Schenalic diagran of lhe sensing head shoving lhe AIuniniun fiIn of lhickness
on lhe filre facel.

Iigure 7 shovs a lheorelicaI sinuIalion as veII as lhe experinenlaI dala for lhe refIeclance
al lhe nelaIized filre facel as a funclion of lhe nelaI fiIn lhickness. The experinenlaI dala
vere ollained fron Iig. 5. The lheorelicaI resuIl shoved no evidence of a nininun
refIeclance vilh lhe slrong deplh olserved experinenlaIIy al an eslinaled AI fiIn lhickness
of 15 nn. In facl, lhe lheorelicaI prediclion yieIds aInosl 1OO refIeclance al lhis lhickness
vaIue, as can le noliced in Iig. 7. The difference lelveen lheorelicaI and experinenlaI
resuIls indicales lhal lhe vaIIey olserved in lhe experinenlaI resuIls is nol due lo any
inlerference effecl lhal couId occur in lhe filre-nelaI-Iiquid inlerfaces.
Due lo lhe resonanl nalure of lhe refIeclance ninina shovn in Iigs. 3 and 5, il is very IikeIy
lhal lhey occur due lo roughness induced, resonanl coupIing lo surface pIasnons (Ionlana
& IanleII, 1988) al lhe nelaI-Iiquid inlerface as a lhin and rough Iayer of nelaI nay resuIl
during lhe elching process. The coupIing is lhickness dependenl and lhe slrenglh depends
on lhe average size of irreguIarilies on lhe surface (Ionlana & IanleII, 1988). Civen lhal lhe
dispersion reIalion of surface pIasnons is very near lhal of pholons in lhis speclraI region,
surface roughness couId provide lhe required snaII increase in nonenlun for efficienl
coupIing lo lhe surface pIasnon osciIIalion. A nore eIaloraled caIcuIalion viII le
perforned in fulure vork laking inlo accounl lhe change in dispersion reIalion of surface
pIasnons due lo roughness (Ionlana & IanleII, 1988), lo accounl for lhis effecl.
Il is vorlh nolicing fron Iig. 7 lhal lhe refIeclance predicled lheorelicaIIy vilh no nelaI fiIn
vas 26.7 d Iover lhan lhal al naxinun lhickness, a resuIl lhal differs significanlIy fron
lhe drop of ~ 14 d olserved experinenlaIIy in Iig. 3 and ~ 35 d in Iig. 7. This is prolalIy
due lo lhe residuaI cIuslers Iefl on lhe filre facel lhal forn an alsorling, non-honogeneous
inlerface lhal changes lhe refIeclance reIalive lo lhal predicled lheorelicaIIy for a singIe
gIass-Iiquid inlerface. In facl ve olserved fron a direcl inspeclion vilh an oplicaI
nicroscope lhal sone cIuslers of naleriaI sliII renained on lhe filre facel, vhich vere no
Ionger affecled ly lhe AI-elcher. As can le seen fron Iigs. 3 and 7, lhe resonanl fealures in
lhe experinenlaI resuIls are siniIar, aIlhough lhe ninina occur al differenl line poinls.
There is, hovever, a significanl difference fron 14 lo 35 d in lhe finaI refIeclance drop
ollained fron lhe dala of Iigs. 3 and 7, respecliveIy, vhich nay le due lo lhe dislincl
procedures used lo carry oul lhe experinenls. Ior lhe dala shovn in Iig. 3, ollained vilh
Optical Fibre, New Developments 42

lhe OTDR, since lhe equipnenl is sonevhal sIov lo execule severaI neasurenenls lo
average lhen in line, lhe head vas pIaced in lhe elcher for a given line and lhen in valer
for OTDR reading and averaging for each dala poinl. Ior lhe case of Iig. 7, ve used lhe
singIe head selup of Iig. 4, and ve allenpled lo avoid arlifacls inlroduced ly lhe use of
aIlernale soIulions and enpIoyed an oplicaI pover neler for fasl dala reading and
averaging, and lhus lhe sensor head couId renain innersed in lhe elcher during lhe enlire
neasurenenl. These dislincl procedures nay Iead lo differenl residuaI cIuslering in lhe filre
facels, vhich can le lhe cause of lhe difference in lhe resuIls of Iigs. 3 and 7. Il viII le
furlher invesligaled in lhe fulure.

45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
5
50 60 70 80 90 100
Al thickness (nm)
Theory
Data
10log(5)
60
40 30 20 10 0

Iig. 7. TheorelicaI (Iine) and experinenlaI dala (dols) for lhe refIeclance as a funclion of lhe
AIuniniun fiIn lhickness.

We aIso evaIualed experinenlaIIy lhe naxinun nunler of sensor heads our sensor syslen
can supporl, and ve found lhal il depends on lhe dynanic range of lhe OTDR. Ior lhe
OTDR puIsevidlh used lo ollain lhe resuIls shovn here (1O ns) ils dynanic range is aloul 7
d. Since each coupIer has an inserlion Ioss of aloul O.7 d, ve can have up lo 1O sensor
heads in lhis configuralion. This can le verified fron Iig. 2-a. One can see lhal as lhe
nunler of heads increases aIong lhe filre Ienglh lhe OTDR lrace lecones noisier. This
noisy lrace shouId have inpacl on lhe accuracy of lhe neasured corrosion rale for lhe heads
Iocaled furlher avay fron lhe OTDR. On lhe olher hand, for 5OO ns puIsevidlh lhe OTDR
dynanic range is 2O.4 d, vhich aIIovs lhe use of up lo 3O sensing heads. In lhis case lhe
OTDR spaliaI resoIulion is aloul 1OO n. Therefore, lhe nininun separalion lelveen
conseculive sensor heads shouId le of aloul 2OO n. In lhis configuralion lhe sensor syslen
vouId cover a lolaI Ienglh of 6 kn, vilh a sensor head every 2OO nelers.

4. ConcIusions

We proposed and denonslraled experinenlaIIy an oplicaI filre sensor for lhe corrosion
process in nelaI (AIuniniun) using lhe oplicaI line donain refIeclonelry lechnique. We
Optical Fibre Sensor System for Multipoint Corrosion Detection 43

presenled experinenlaI resuIls for lhe neasurenenl of lhe corrosion rale of aIuniniun
fiIns in conlroIIed Ialoralory condilions. The ollained corrosion rale nalched lhe expecled
rale of lhe elcher used. We aIso evaIualed experinenlaIIy lhe naxinun nunler of sensor
heads lhe syslen supporls. Il depends on lhe OTDR dynanic range and il has inpIicalions
on lhe dislance lelveen conseculive sensor heads.
Our proposed sensor syslen is nuIlipoinl, seIf-referenced, has no noving parls (aII-filre)
and can delecl lhe corrosion rale for each head severaI kiIonelres avay fron lhe OTDR,
lhus naking lhe syslen ideaI for in-lhe-fieId noniloring of corrosion and erosion. This
syslen nay have appIicalions in harsh environnenls such as in deepvaler oiI veIIs and gas
fIovIines (incIuding fron lhe presaIl region), for lhe evaIualion of lhe corrosion and erosion
processes in lhe inner vaII of lhe casing pipes. In lhis case, differenl naleriaIs can le
deposiled on lhe filre facel lo leller nalch lhe pipe naleriaIs under corrosion/erosion. This
syslen nay enalIe inferred condilion-lased nainlenance vilhoul produclion inlerruplion,
decreasing lhe cosl of oiI produclion, and sulslanliaIIy reducing lhe risk of environnenlaI
disaslers due lo lhe faiIure of unnonilored fIovIines.
Our experinenlaI resuIls aIso reveaIed a fealure lhal nay indicale lhe occurrence of lhe
surface pIasnon effecl al lhe nelaI-Iiquid inlerface. Il couId le due lo lhe roughness
coupIing lo surface pIasnons al lhe nelaI-Iiquid inlerface as a lhin and rough Iayer of nelaI
nay resuIl during lhe elching process. AIlhough ve leIieve al lhis poinl lhal lhis effecl is
nol vilaI for lhe operalion of lhe proposed sensor, nor lo lhe neasurenenl of lhe corrosion
rale, il viII le invesligaled in fulure vork.

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