Corr Science

Philosophy of Corrosion Monitoring


Corrosion is a degradation mechanism of particular concern in a wide range of industrial plant and plant components.  It is an insidious process, often difficult to recognize until deterioration is well advanced.  When left unchecked, corrosion will destroy equipment, contaminate products and shut down production.

The report of the 1972 Committee on Corrosion and Protection (The Hoar Committee) estimated that the annual cost of corrosion in the UK was approximately 3% of the Gross National Product, and that savings of almost one third of this were possible by better or wider use of existing techniques such as corrosion monitoring.

Corrosion monitoring is the practice carried out to assess and predict the corrosion behavior in operational plant and equipment.  Some of the objectives of corrosion monitoring are:

 (a) To provide information on the state of operational equipment with the   intention of avoiding unplanned shut-downs, occurring due to    unforeseen deterioration of the plant.

 (b) To provide information on the interrelation between corrosion    processes and operating variables to allow more efficient use of the   plant.

 (c) To provide information that plant inspection departments may use to   prevent safety failures and potential disasters.

 (d) To assess levels of contamination of process fluids.

In addition, there are more concealed costs associated with corrosion which cover the spectrum from that associated with over design of systems to allow for corrosion through to economic and ecological consequences of plant failure.

In short, corrosion monitoring and technology provides a cost-effective method for assessing the condition of plant, and provides a mechanism whereby life-cycle costs may be minimised.