Today, we work hard to protect operational assets against corrosion. Corrosion leads to a number of issues, all of which frustrate operations and reduce profits. Pipes are particularly susceptible to corrosion, but so are other parts and equipment. Protecting these assets against corrosion is one thing and preventing corrosion is an important part of that process.
Protection methods alone do not guarantee corrosion will not arise. Prevention is an extra layer of protection against corrosion. Prevention allows you to identify conditions that may lead to corrosion and take timely action to address it, and as corrosion prevention becomes more advanced through innovative design and research, the better you will be able to protect your assets and grow your profits. Shawcor recognizes the importance of using the latest technology and knows that protecting the integrity of your operational assets is key to performance. The future of corrosion prevention is now, and here are three examples of what that looks like.
Present-Day: Preventing Corrosion
There are corrosion prevention methods today that are supplementing traditional non-destructive testing. These methods are more reliable and offer benefits previously unavailable. Three methods that are using advanced technology include real-time x-ray, ultrasonic testing, and computed radiography.
Real-time X-ray is a form of real-time radiography (RTR) that uses an X-ray source and an image intensifier or detector to provide an image of a pipeline’s outer diameter; like any X-ray, this method creates the image through the insulation. An X-ray source allows this process to develop superior resolution, so if there is a change in the outer diameter profile, it will clearly be ascertained. A change indicates possible corrosion buildup. Shawcor’s high definition Real-Time Radiography process offers advanced technology to produce digital radiographs that can be archived for future audits.
Ultrasonic testing (UT) uses high frequency sound waves to precisely measure the thickness of the walls. As a predictive tool, it is non-intrusive and reliable and does not require cutting out insulation or a section of pipe for testing and inspecting purposes. Further, it can provide a complete picture of the infrastructure’s integrity, thus, it can replace the old method of operating equipment through pipelines and doing so until something happens and it fails. This diagnostic and preventive tool is also especially important as operational assets age.
Computed radiography (CR) assesses internal or external corrosion using an imaging plate to determine wall thickness and possible wall losses. The images are scanned into a computer system where software is used to analyze and manipulate the data so that it can be interpreted effective use. The computerized images allow for quick inspection and therefore quick responses. The digital images can be shared -- even by email -- so remote analysis is made easily. Further, the images can be stored, allowing you to develop a database and historical reference points for future comparisons or audits.
Immediate: Preventing Corrosion
Technology advances constantly and with that advancement follows efficiency and performance. Two new methods that are shaping this area are self-healing nano coatings and corrosion-detection drones. Self-healing coatings offer a novel way to prevent leaking and manage the integrity of the pipeline and other related equipment. This technology has been out for a few years now, but has not yet been perfected for widespread use in the industry. Drones that can detect corrosion in pipelines is relatively newer but offer the benefit of covering a large amount of area in a systemic, comprehensive way, including hard to reach areas. The development of these technologies would fundamentally transform the way operations work today, including the costs associated with these operations.
Solutions: Prevent Corrosion through Corrosion Management
As you know, worst case corrosion scenarios lead to leakages or explosions, and that’s not acceptable. Technology today can help us prevent problems caused by corrosion or erosion. Detecting problems can be cost-efficient with non-destructive testing (NDT). Shawcor is a leader in corrosion management solutions. We use only the most advanced technology for our methods. Many of Shawcor’s corrosion preventative systems are proprietary, portable, remote-capable, and allow inspections from a safe work environment. These benefits alone are enough reason to contact Shawcor today to learn more about their services and how they can help your operations run smoothly for years to come.