Pipework Corrosion- Prediction and Reality

Dr Patrica Conder receiving a token of appreciation from Trevor Osborne, together with Paul Barnes, branch chairman

The January talk of ICorr London branch by Dr Patricia Conder, Sonomatic Ltd, was on “Pipework Corrosion : Prediction and Reality”, and how differences in the spatial pattern of internal pipework corrosion, be it patchy or more uniform, impacts on the effectiveness of inspection, and how this can be used to improve understanding of the underlying corrosion behaviour.

Patricia, discussed how extensive corrosion is easy to find and measure but, in instances where wall loss occurs more randomly, the challenges of matching inspection strategy to the corrosion coverage increase. She discussed how thinking of inspection of as a statistical sampling process helps both inspection strategy and analysis. The audience were challenged to spot the difference between a corroding and non-corroding circuit within a second. This was successfully achieved by means of a graphical overview of the whole circuit inspection history.

This overview presents a route to mine into the data, to examine “groupings” based on corrosion mechanisms, for example testing to see if the bends really are corroding faster than the straights. She also discussed the use of integrity driven corrosion rates, based on how the overall wall loss of the circuit is changing, rather than focusing on per inspection location corrosion rates, which can exaggerate measurement variability. Although historically inspection has been based on manual ultrasonic thickness measurements and radiography, these techniques have only covered relatively small areas overall. Developments for pipework inspection offer everything from screening to more detailed high accuracy mapping. The challenges being to incorporate all these results into a database in a meaningful way to get added value from a change in inspection approach. Patricia finished the talk by reminding us to think corrosion: think spatial.

RESPECTED AND FOND MEMORIES OF GORDON W. CURRER C Eng MIEE MICorrST CATHODIC PROTECTION ENGINEER (June 1927 – November 2018)

So many times we have heard the expression  – ‘He was a Gentleman and a Scholar’ –  and that was exactly what Gordon Currer was.

A kindly man, very mild mannered and thorough to the extreme in his duties as a dedicated technologist.  Always keen to pass on knowledge and learning (with patience) to those students that had an aptitude to learn the mysterious art of Cathodic Protection.

Gordon was a Chartered Engineer and held membership in the Institute of Electrical Engineers; the Institute of Corrosion and Technology as well as the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

He wrote many papers and gave countless lectures and presentations; both throughout the UK and the rest of the world.  With a career spanning over fifty years he once listed all the countries he had visited purely for business purposes – the tally was an impressive thirty seven.

Like many in the enigmatic world of Cathodic Protection he entered that world by accident. In his own words he said, “When I look back over my working life I contrast the relatively dreary (and certainly un-exciting) beginnings of travel by bus and underground into London each day with the subsequent worldwide travel I have experienced with my duties in Cathodic Protection – and generally enjoyed”.

It was thanks to an advertisement in the Hertfordshire Mercury in February 1956 that Gordon was offered his first post by John Gerrard – himself a former employee of the Kuwait Oil Company.  From little acorns the Company of MAPEL expanded from Woolmer Green to Tottenham with John Gerrard the then Managing Director and Gordon’s retirement finally being from the Stotfold office.

During his pioneering days with MAPEL a lot of the CP testing techniques (that are practised today) were trialled and refined by him and his colleagues of that time.  It was refreshing to hear some of his humorous memories, which revealed that he too, in all his reverence, went through quite difficult practical learning curves as they built up procedures and routines that now form part of the CP standards of today.  His favourite was the colleague that never stopped talking but suddenly went quiet on a Current Drainage survey with which they were experimenting with using a heavy duty welding generator. The verbiage apparently restored itself in earnest when the gentleman was released from the test circuit!

He recalled his first overseas trip was to Nigeria in 1958 and encompassed travel to Benin, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.  Apart from a short spell in a tiger moth with the Air Cadets he had never flown before. He and a colleague left Heathrow in a West African Airways ‘Argonaut Airliner’ having 4 piston engines and propellers giving a cruising speed of 265mph.  The passage through Lagos Airport was fast, pleasant and informal as still under British rule, in contrast to difficulties he experienced with entry and exit in the 1990’s – not helped by his passport being stolen.

Having worked many years with MAPEL and as a senior team member he played a great part in building the Company up to become one of the most respected in the NDT/CP industry. An extremely loyal team of stalwarts was the result of his leadership.  There were no bosses unless the chips were down and a serious problem needed attendance.  Gordon would then deal with the issue with clarity and a quiet firmness respected and appreciated by all.

As a memory and in a lighter vein, the following portrays the deep effect he had on all those within his team. For example, once design values were known it was a case of anode distribution.  In truth there were many positions and all would work but some gave better spread than others.  Gordon was a stickler for change until it was deemed to be perfect.  Nowadays when layout changes to a new design are made, those who worked with him use the familiar quote “You are doing a Gordon on me”.

With the close co-operation MAPEL had built up with British Gas by mutual agreement Gordon moved across, with some selected engineers, to the Gas Council offices in Hinckley. They helped form the corrosion division responsible for the production and implementation of Cathodic Protection systems for all the major high pressure gas feeder mains throughout the UK.  Gordon stayed with British Gas for over 13 years before returning to MAPEL as their Chief Engineering Manager. Even now, crews working in the East Midlands have reported back that they are referring to drawings, drawn from the archives signed by GWC.

By reviewing the caricature (opposite) – presented to him upon his departure from British Gas containing one hundred well wisher signatures, it is abundantly clear in itself what a popular and respected person Gordon was.

His true values and courage came to the fore at MAPEL when let down by two senior engineers he took on recovering a very serious project on the Kori Nuclear Power station in South Korea. He worked in the most arduous conditions without complaint; completing the venture for GEC spanning 1978/79.  His love of art kept him sane and diverted his mind off home as he worked many hours in the stinking depths of the cooling water pump-house, wearing thigh boots whilst knee deep in dead mussels.  His sketch dated 4.12.78  (below) being the evidence of a man devoted to a duty that very few would have endured.

In 1987/88 his time was focussed on a feasibility study for Mobil Oil based around the Yanbu Oil Refinery on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.

In 1990 he developed a design for the Adnoc Oil Refinery in Abu Dhabi and then in 1993 as a retained consultant for MAPEL he travelled a circuitous route into Libya to work on the Great Man Made River project for Brown and Root and the Turkish company STFA.

These are just snippets of the countless large projects he was involved with over the years.

On retirement he still maintained the interest and took on some private consultancy work representing the writer on project work in Trinidad and Barbados.

Both him and his wife Sheila enjoyed many happy days with Andre Lange and his family at Marine Consultants, based in Port of Spain, Trinidad.  This, he always said was the icing on the cake finishing his years of travel in Libya/Saudi Arabia/Abu Dhabi etc etc and the memories remain on the sideboard at his home in Frisby –on-the-Wreake enjoyed by his devoted wife Sheila, two daughters Jill and Deborah and their son Tim.

Rest in Peace Gordon……an Icon of your era.

On behalf of the CURRER FAMILY

Institute of Corrosion London Branch Meeting January 2019 – Pipework Corrosion Prediction and Reality

We are pleased to announce that the speaker at the January the 10th meeting at Imperial College will be Dr Patricia Conder of Sonomatic. She will be giving a talk on internal corrosion of pipework.  as we all know this can be patchy and unpredictable on a small scale and although corrosion predictions for pipework focus on morphology, rate and likelihood, the spatial distribution is not generally considered. Inspection of pipework typically covers a small proportion of overall area, utilising manual ultrasonic inspection and radiography. The effectiveness of the inspection being determined by the “Find It First” challenge.

If and when corrosion is found, a local corrosion rate is generated for an individual location and there is a “Bottom-Up” integrity response. This talk looks at the advantages of taking a fresh look at the results of pipework inspection from a “Top-Down” viewpoint and how this can improve the understanding of corrosion manifestations, and impact on future inspection to make it more effective and efficient.

Come along to the meeting on the 10th of January doors in the Skempton Building open at 6 pm, the evening offers refreshments and great networking opportunities to members and non members alike.

 

Corrosion Under Insulation Test Method Review

ICORR NE Branch – CUI Test Method Review Thank you to all those who attended the recent CUI test method review that was presented by Neil Wilds, Sherwin Williams Global Director CUI/Testing. It was one of our most successful events with over 30 attendees representing asset owners, engineers, test houses, coatings and insulation manufacturers.

This lead to some excellent discussion after the presentation and this has carried on via email. If you have any questions feel free to contact Neil directly. That’s it for 2018, I’ll share details of any future events planned in the New Year. As always, if you have any topics you would like to cover or present please get in contact!

All the best Icorr NE

The Young Engineer Programme (YEP) – Final Evening Presentation

The 2018 YEP culminated in the teams presenting their findings on the Case Study at Imperial College on Thursday 8th November.

This was 12 months of work for the delegates who have worked through modules that span the breadth and depth of our industry.

It was a truly fantastic evening with 3 excellent presentations from the teams

Team Boran

Agniezka Knyter

Rachel Colpitts

Liam Fox

Konstantinos Katsounis

Team Doggett   

Daniel Burkle

Oliver Smith

Caroline Earl

Jessica Easton

Team Googan

Mark Fearns

Stephen Shapcott

Liya Guo

There were a good deal of questions from the audience after each presentation following which the Judges went away to deliberate.

Bill Hedges of BP, when making his award speech, said “its been very hard to select a winner as they were all so good. However there has to be a winning team and that is Team Doggett.”

The winning team will be travelling to the USA in April 2019 to attend the NACE Conference in Nashville where a whole programme will be arranged. They will post a blog of their activity and learnings on a daily basis which will be attached to the Institute of Corrosion website. We are grateful to the President and staff of NACE for pledging their support to the winners whilst they are in Nashville by providing conference registrations and access to the student award ceremony.

The teams will also present their conference learning in the 2019 winter lecture series at ICorr London Branch.

The response from the delegates has been incredibly encouraging;

This programme has altered the way I think about my work and how I carry it out”

“I have found a new job and moved to London living in Kew Gardens and cycling to work each day  I love it”

“I hadn’t realised the value of ICorr and I will go back to work on Monday and encourage them to engage

A comment from one of the senior Engineers in our fraternity gave the programme even more credibility, “This is probably the most important function in the UK Corrosion calendar, it’s truly fantastic

It’s also interesting to note that Agne Knyter of Team Boran travelled to the U.K. from Poland in 2015 under her own steam to take part in the YEP Case Study presentation and decided then she wanted to be involved in the next YEP programme.

The week before the YEP presentation, Chris Bridge and Simon Bowcock, representing Young ICorr, presented at Oxford University and 32 people signed up as student members of ICorr. We are finally pulling young Engineers into our Institute and showing them the value of being a member.

Thanks go to all those involved in the YEP process; the organising committee, the lecturers, the hosts, the mentors, the Judges, the delegates and of course a big thank you to the sponsors of the event BP.