Each year the Institute of Corrosion bestows a range of internationally-renowned awards in recognition of excellence in corrosion science and engineering and to reward outstanding service to the Institute and the wider corrosion community. Many of these awards are open to nomination by both members and non-members of the Institute. Below is a brief description of each award together with details of how to nominate potential candidates.
U.R. Evans Award
The U.R. Evans Award is the premier scientific award of the Institute of Corrosion and is presented annually for outstanding international achievements in pure or applied corrosion science. The recipient is selected by a Corrosion Science Division panel and presented with a sword at the annual Corrosion Science Symposium. The symposium is one which seeks to encourage the participation of the junior members of the corrosion community who would appreciate the visit of, and address by, a corrosion scientist of international repute. The form of the award symbolises the fight in which we are all engaged. The recipient is also granted Honorary Life Fellowship of the Institute. Nominations may be submitted at any time via email to the CSD Chair, Julian Wharton (J.A.Wharton@soton.ac.uk).
Paul McIntyre Award
The Paul McIntyre Award is presented to a senior corrosion engineer, who, as well as being a leading practitioner in his field, has advanced European collaboration and international standards development. The award consists of an engraved trophy, which is presented at the annual CED Working Day meeting. The recipient is requested to present a brief overview of their activities and encouraged to prepare an article for publication in Corrosion Management. Nominations should be submitted to the CED Chair, Nick Smart (firstname.lastname@example.org), by 12 March 2021.
T.P. Hoar Award
The T.P. Hoar Award is presented to the authors of the best paper published in the scientific journal Corrosion Science during the previous calendar year. The winning paper is selected by a sub-committee of the Corrosion Science Division and the authors receive a certificate and a cash sum of £400.
The winning paper in 2020, from papers published in 2019, was authored by Rigel Hanbury and Gary Was (University of Michigan), for their paper entitled ‘Oxide growth and dissolution on 316L stainless steel during irradiation in high temperature water’ (Corros. Sci. 157 (2019) 305-311). The paper elegantly describes a novel approach using a helium bubble marker layer to study 316L oxide growth and dissolution under simultaneous proton radiation and corrosion in 320°C hydrogenated water. Helium implantation was chosen since it is chemically inert and compared to heavier noble gases it generates fewer radiation defects and has a greater implantation range.
The Galloway Award is presented to a student author for the best publication describing original research in corrosion science and engineering as judged by a sub-committee of the Corrosion Science Division. The student should be the primary author of the work and preferably first author. A summary of the winning paper is published in Corrosion Management and the prize consists of a certificate and a cash sum of £300. The Institute does not retain copyright of the material, so this does not prevent separate publication of the work in a scientific journal. Submissions (in the form of a paper published within the past 12 months or a draft publication) may be sent via email at any time to the CSD Chair, Julian Wharton (J.A.Wharton@soton.ac.uk). Supervisors may nominate students.
The Lionel Shreir Award is given to the best student presenter at the annual Corrosion Science Symposium. Selection of the recipient is carried out by a sub-committee of the Corrosion Science Division. The award consists of a certificate and a cash prize of £125.
The Shreir award in 2020 was presented to Christos Kousis (University of Manchester) for his presentation entitled ‘An investigation of the effect of chloride ion concentration on the localised corrosion of the E717 magnesium alloy’. Christos gave an insightful talk on using the in situ scanning vibrating electrode technique, coupled with time-lapse imaging, to study magnesium corrosion behaviour.
In this month’s column, the retiring President, Dr G Hinds FREng FICorr FNACE FIMMM, discusses corrosion and the energy transition, and the need for corrosion experts to be involved.
These are challenging times for everyone. Coronavirus, Brexit and climate change have dominated the headlines in 2020, and we’ve all been adjusting to these new realities. Coronavirus and Brexit will be dealt with. There are already encouraging signs from vaccine development, and ultimately the UK and the EU should agree on a series of legislative and trade deals, even if these need to evolve with time. However, climate change is a much bigger problem and one that we cannot take our eyes off while we address the other issues. The weight of scientific evidence that the majority of the current global warming trend is the result of human activities is now overwhelming, and very few governments and organisations are still arguing credibly against the need for urgent action. The UK has taken a global lead in this area, becoming the first country to set a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030. But this is not just a case of moral leadership. There are huge export opportunities for countries prepared to be early investors in low carbon technologies, not to mention the potential for job creation and improved quality of life for citizens.
The Institute of Corrosion has always been heavily dependent on the oil and gas sector for its membership, activities and revenue. There is no doubt that change is coming, and indeed this has already started, so together with our members, the energy companies and their supply chains, we need to manage the transition to a low carbon economy as effectively as possible. This is something we can do very much in partnership, to everyone’s benefit.
I firmly believe that there is a bright future for the Institute, and for corrosion professionals in general. ICorr members have very specialised and valuable skills – and these are highly transferable. Low carbon energy technologies suffer from just as many corrosion issues as oil and gas, and many of them are nowhere near as well understood or managed. Addressing these will require a concerted effort from industry, standardisation bodies, research institutes and academia. This could return us to the sort of boom in materials and corrosion activity last seen following the advent of North Sea oil and gas in the 1960s. Our members are already starting to make a significant contribution to this transition. For example, ICorr members have been prominent in the development of a new standard, ISO/DIS 24656, for cathodic protection of offshore wind structures. This activity has built on many decades of experience in the protection of offshore oil and gas structures, which was initially ignored by wind farm operators, with unfortunate consequences for the early installations. The impact of the new standard will be extended lifetime and reduced lifecycle cost of offshore wind farms, reducing electricity bills and maximising the return on investment in the technology.
Great progress has been made in transitioning the UK electrical grid to renewable energy sources, with an impressive 48% of total demand met by renewables in 2019. However, electricity generation accounts for just 12% of UK emissions, with the heating and transport sectors making up the bulk of the rest. Decarbonisation of these sectors will be far more challenging, and is likely to require significant investment in carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), energy vectors such as batteries and hydrogen, and a step change in electricity generation capacity. CCUS and hydrogen are obvious areas for energy companies to move into, building on existing expertise and facilities for large scale handling of fluid product. The UK has already launched a number of demonstration projects in this area, including those at Humberside, Teesside, and St Fergus in Scotland. Here the corrosion and materials integrity issues are very similar to those encountered in upstream oil and gas environments. Geothermal energy is another technology where existing capability could be transferred relatively easily.
Batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and water electrolysers have significant corrosion issues, with metallic components exposed to elevated potentials and corrosive environments. However, engagement with the corrosion community to date in the development and implementation of these technologies has been limited and there is great scope for improvements in lifetime and cost through input from corrosion scientists and engineers. Corrosion of photovoltaic panels is another area that is receiving increased attention as operators seek to improve the efficiency and extend the lifetime of solar farms. Even well-established low carbon technologies such as hydroelectricity, biofuels, and nuclear power generation, have unresolved corrosion issues that require innovative solutions. Emerging technologies such as solar, thermal, wave and tidal power will simply add to this list. In my own role carrying out research in electrochemistry and corrosion at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL), we are already supporting advances in many of these new technologies. A recent highlight has been our discovery that it should be possible to reduce the cost of water electrolysers used for the production of green hydrogen by up to 50%, by enabling substitution of cheaper materials such as carbon and stainless steel for the platinum-coated titanium current collectors in these devices. These are the sorts of innovations that can be achieved when corrosion expertise is included in the conversation.
As the UK’s leading professional society in the field of corrosion protection, ICorr can play a key role in supporting its members and their employers to make the transition to low carbon technologies. We need to be proactive in engaging with stakeholders at all levels, from ensuring that we have the right training programmes in place to meet the demand for new skills, to highlighting the importance of best practice in corrosion management in the cost effectiveness of new technologies.
Knowledge transfer is another important aspect of the role of professional societies. I am a member of the European Federation of Corrosion (EFC) Task Force on Corrosion in Green and Low Carbon Technologies, which is chaired by Steve Paterson of ICorr. Following a successful initial workshop on corrosion in green and low carbon technologies at the virtual EuroCorr 2020 conference, there will be a similar event held during EuroCorr 2021, which will take place from 19-23 September 2021 in Budapest. The workshop will feature keynote lectures from leading industry and academic experts on corrosion in the new energy sector, and provide the opportunity to learn and to exchange information on corrosion issues and mitigation strategies. It is also planned to host a training course on the weekend before the conference to give an introduction to a range of low carbon technologies and their primary corrosion issues. These two events will also be made available online so, even if you can’t attend the conference in person, I would encourage you to participate to hear more about how corrosion professionals can contribute to the rollout of these new technologies.
This is a time of change, which brings with it both challenge and opportunity. As an Institute we need to embrace the energy transition and work with the entire community of international stakeholders to maximise the opportunities for our members. This will involve the development of new training courses, international standards, and for a for transfer of knowledge to ensure we move forward with the appropriate tools to address these challenging issues. I look forward to travelling down this road with you!
The questions in this issue relate to painting galvanized steel and predicting CO2 corrosion in oil & gas upsteam operations.
Question: How do you prepare galvanized steel before it is painted with an epoxy? PS Answer: Painting galvanized steel is quite simple as long as the correct steps are used. There are basically four alternative methods to prepare this surface for painting, T-Wash, etch priming, sweep blasting, and weathering. Ideally the surface should be treated immediately after galvanising, but if this is not possible then it can still be carried out later, although the surface must be thoroughly cleaned to remove all contaminants.
T-Wash is a phosphoric acid solution with a small amount of copper carbonate which reacts with the zinc surface and turns it black. An even black colouration confirms that the whole surface is free from grease, and etched ready for painting. The solution must be allowed to dry fully and should be painted as soon as possible, and withing 4 weeks. It should not be used on galvanizing that has been allowed to weather however. There are also other equivalent proprietary products.
Etch primers are similar to T Wash, in that they etch the surface ready for painting, however they have a major disadvantage over T-Wash in that there is no colour change of the surface, and there is thus no indication that the whole surface has been treated. They are however suitable for use on weathered steel.
Sweep blasting at pressures up to 40 psi can roughen the galvanised surface sufficiently to provide a key for the subsequent paint system without removing too much of the zinc surface. Only a fine copper slag, and not the more common angular iron grit should be used, and care needs to be taken to determine the stand off distance and angle of blast to ensure the optimum surface is obtained. Sweep blasting is also often used in conjunction with a chemical pre-treatment.
Exposing a galvanized surface to the environment is another method for preparing it for painting. This should be for a minimum of 6 months, after which the surface is cleaned with a stiff brush to remove the loosely adhering material, leaving a bright zinc metal surface. The surface is then thoroughly washed and allowed to dry fully before being painted. In all cases, the paint system should be applied according to manufacturers’ recommendations.
It should also be mentioned, that there are some paints which have been specifically formulated to be applied directly to the galvanised surface, and thus no pre-treatment stage is necessary. BG
Question: How accurately can you predict CO2 corrosion in upstream operations? BK Answer: To do full justice to the question really requires writing a major article and even a book. The European Federation of Corrosion (EFC) publication #23, CO2 Corrosion in Oil and Gas Production Design Considerations is an excellent reference, if a little dated now having been published in 1997. Reading through more recent papers on the subject presented at the annual NACE International Corrosion Conferences can provide an excellent source of current thinking and practice.
Nevertheless, it is useful to address the question in two steps. For a given set of conditions, firstly what is the likelihood of CO2 corrosion occurring; and secondly, if likely, in what form and rate will it occur. While predictive models have become the immediate go-to especially as the computing power and sophistication of laptops, tablets and increasingly smart phones continues to grow exponentially, together with ready access to the internet, it is useful to take a breath to reflect on what simple rules generally are worth having to hand. Concerning the likelihood of CO2 corrosion occurring, the following rule of thumb is worthy of note:
An important additional qualification to the above rule is how the following partial pressure ratios, to take account of the presence of H2S if also encountered, effects the resulting corrosion process:
From a detailed system design and operating standpoint, and for developing a fit-for-purpose corrosion / integrity management strategy, clearly the above rules provide limited hard engineering insight and basis to work from. However, they provide a quick and simple appreciation of the situation ahead of launching into modelling – the latter is a necessary requirement regardless, but not without its challenges and limitation.
There is no one industry recognised, or accepted standard CO2 corrosion model. Over the years there has been a steady growth in the number models in use, in part driven by several of the major oil & gas companies producing their own in-house developed models. All the models are principally directed at predicting CO2 corrosion of carbon and low alloy steels.
It is also worth recognising here the work over many years of de Waard et al (Shell) for their significant openly published contribution to the understanding and key requirements of building a robust CO2 corrosion model and its sound application. In fact, many of the at least 17 models readily found via an internet / published technical papers search owe much to the leading fundamental and practical insight resulting from the work of de Waard et al. It should be noted that most models are empirical in origin based on lab and/or field data. The most extensive and widely recognised theoretically based CO2 corrosion model, a product of a Joint Industry Project (JIP) funded programme at the Ohio University, forms an integral part of Ohio’s Multicorp corrosion prediction software covering almost all key aspects of internal corrosion of mild steel oil and gas pipelines. If not a member of the Ohio JIP, access to the Mulitcorp software is subject to a user charge.
Ready and free access to the models may be limited but a good starting point readily accessible on the internet is: CO2 Corrosion Rate Calculation Model, NORSOK Standard M-506 Rev 2, June 2005. There are commercial models available at a cost, such as the Wood Group’s Electronic Corrosion Engineer ECETM ® tool designed to assist corrosion engineers through the quantitative estimation of corrosion rates, including CO2 corrosion modelling and prediction, and selection of corrosion-resistant materials; and Broadsword Engineering’s proprietary web-based CO2 corrosion model enpICDATM as part of the technical service they offer.
A comparative review of many of the models was presented in Paper No. 10371, NACE Corrosion Conference 2010, San Antonio, CO2 Corrosion Models for Oil and Gas Production Systems. Whereas Paper No. 05552, NACE Corrosion Conference 2005, Houston, entitled A Prophetic CO2 Corrosion Tool – But when is it to be believed? provides additional related background reading resulting from BP’s development of their model Cassandra.
All the models have their strengths and weakness that will to varying degrees be dependent on the specific application. It would be inappropriate here to advocate use of any one model above the others.
Understanding the current condition and operating details of a system is equally a critically important step to making a sound choice and subsequent application of model. Some key points to consider are:
Understanding the origin of the model to be used, and how it addresses the key factors that will determine the predicted corrosion rate
Range of CO2 partial pressure and temperature applicable
How it computes pH and range of applicability
Flow regime and liquid velocity noting that CO2 corrosion is a mass transfer controlled reaction
Presence of potential corrosion hot spots – e.g. bends, dead-legs, and surface flow disturbances such as pre-existing corrosion, weld beads – can profoundly affect the form of attack (general versus localised metal loss)
Surface fouling/shielding due wax, scale, solids drop-out – can profoundly affect the form of attack (general versus localised metal loss)
Effect of liquid hydrocarbon phase wetting
FeCO3 protective scale formation, its nature and stability – will profoundly affect the form of attack (general versus localised metal loss)
Presence of H2S – often results in very low general corrosion rates but increased risk of pitting and few models are strong at predicting the joint corrosive action and rate in the presence of CO2 + H2S
Presence of dissolved volatile organic acids (e.g. acetic acid/acetate) – can significantly increase the actual corrosion rate
Risk of top-of-line corrosion (usually wet gas systems but also may effect multiphase lines under stratified flow with a gas space) where water condensation rate is a key factor; also the risk is exacerbated by the presence of volatile organic acids and H2S
Presence of solids leading to erosion-corrosion – usually results in a synergistic effect on resulting metal loss rate for cabon/low alloy steels that may result in localised attack
Having given due consideration and attention to the above in selecting a model, which can be further helped by looking for field analogues to draw comparisons with, the predicted rates will generally be acceptable for design purposes – e.g. if carbon steel can be used with or without use of a corrosion inhibitor supported by a specified corrosion allowance as part of the required nominal pipewall thickness. Also, predicted rates can be used in support of conducting corrosion risk-based assessments as part of developing a fit-for-purpose corrosion management strategy. If the form of attack is likely to be localised from, for example, consideration of the above points or from inspection data, it is common to apply an escalation factor – typically a 2 or 3 multiplier – to the predicted base corrosion rate. Operating company guidance documents and practices may detail specific requirements for applying escalation factors. It is also important to recognise that poor operation of corrosion control measures such inhibitor treatment and system cleanliness can adversely affect the underlying value of originally predicted corrosion rates.
Effectively managing corrosion solely based on predicted corrosion rates once a system comes into operation is not recommended no matter how good a model is hailed to be. Modelling should be treated as complementary to having in place a proactive and robust risk-based corrosion monitoring and inspection programme that also provides a feedback loop to enable further improvement of a model. Finally, can any of the models truly predict mm/y corrosion rates to two or even one decimal place? They may display computed rates to such a level, but this could well be more a function of how the software is written than the actual inherent accuracy of the model. Caution should be exercise when using and quoting model-generated predicted corrosion rates to such decimal place accuracy! Don Harrop FICorr(Hon) FEFC(Hon), CorroDon Consulting Ltd.
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