Branch News - Aberdeen Branch

The first meeting of 2017 was held on Tuesday the 31st January, with 49 attendees from local Aberdeen based companies.

The first guest speaker of the evening was Sarah Vasey, the new ICorr President.

Sarah enthusiastically explained the Institute’s plans for improvement of the bi-monthly journal – Corrosion Management (CM), which is being re-launched in a new format with greater technical content and extended papers, together with improvements to the ICorr website. Sarah made it clear that training would become a key focus for the Institute, with improved professional development for members towards Chartered Engineer status. At the end of the evening, Sarah met with all the members of the Aberdeen Committee, many of whom have more than 5 years’ service with the branch.

The technical presentation followed with, Dr Nadimul Faisal and Dr Ghazi Droubi, both lecturers at the School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, who outlined the main goals of their current research programme into the potential for Acoustic Emission (AE) to detect both cracking and corrosion activity.

Acoustic emission is essentially a non-destructive technique where a test sample is subjected to a stress condition, under which, crack growth, local yielding and corrosion product fracture may occur, resulting in a sudden release of energy that can be detected by transducers.

The speakers described their recent findings from a range of RGU experiments, including those on thin aluminium and steel plates in different corrosive environments.

It is important to note that the AE from corrosion usually releases much less energy than emission from crack growth, and so is more difficult to detect in the field, however the results present a trend (as an exponential curve) between the concentration of the corrosive environment and the energy of the acoustic emission signal.

AE only occurs when corrosion scales fracture and corrosion needs to be active, although the presence of inactive / previous corrosion may be found by causing the scale to fracture by changing the strain sufficiently in the base material.

An extensive range of questions followed from the large audience during which the practical application of AE within the energy sector was further explored. Generally the role of AE was perceived as being in support of other NDT technologies and for specialised applications such as inspection of tank floors, and occasionally for critical components of high value, or high production impact.

The February meeting, held on Tuesday 28th, had over 50 attendees from local companies, and the guest speakers were, Dr Jake Davies of Permasense HQ, and his Aberdeen based Technical Support colleague Gary Wallace, who had recently joined from ConocoPhillips UK Production Well Integrity Division.

This most informative evening was entitled “Monitoring High Temperature Corrosion Attack: Correlation between Corrosiveness and results from Online Corrosion Monitoring”.

The speakers presented a wide range of successful Permasense wall thickness monitoring applications, from Upstream, Midstream and Downstream Energy Sector Operations, developed over a period of more than 10 years in partnership with BP and Imperial College London.

They emphasized the need to continuously gather quality real-time data to allow accurate determination of the rate of internal damage to key production components, operating under high temperature, high pressure and variable flow conditions.

It was pointed out that more traditional and less automated methods may provide over-cautious and sometimes unreliable information, owing to their reduced sampling frequency, manual nature and limitations on safe access. The availability of enhanced pipe wall data from all sources, can raise confidence levels, facilitate longer service intervals, and minimize production losses. A large number of case studies were used to illustrate these points and the potential gains from such systems.

It was emphasised however that all truly holistic inspection regimes utilize a full range of intrusive and non-intrusive devices for fluids and solids management to ensure continued safe operation of ageing assets. As with other complimentary monitoring devices, a recent key change in the application of such technologies has been the huge advances in wireless data transmission, greatly improved battery life and much improved integration with plant control systems, to provide ‘side by side’ data that is now much more meaningful to integrity specialists.

The closing question and answer session covered many diverse topics that truly demonstrated the value of evening, the level of interest and its excellent speakers. A wide range of Clamped and Magnetic wall thickness monitors were then made available for the audience to inspect.

For information about the Aberdeen branch activities please contact the branch secretary, Frances Chalmers, ICorrABZ@gmail.com, alternatively a calendar of local events of interest to corrosion professionals in the Aberdeen area, and the opportunity to sign-up to the branch mailing list, is available at https://sites.google.com/site/icorrabz/home.