An industrial visit to Element Materials Technology in Aberdeen to attend the technical presentation of “Sour Service Testing of Carbon Steel Girth Welds” by Phil Dent, Element’s Global Corrosion Specialist, followed by a visit to the new H2S / Sour Service Laboratories.
An introduction was delivered by Ian Farquharson- General Manager of Element Aberdeen and Edinburgh branches, who declared that Element is ranked as the 5th biggest materials testing and certification firms in the world following its recent merger with EXOVA. He also mentioned that Element Aberdeen is a UKAS and ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory which offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of metallurgical materials testing and analysis services in the UK including mechanical testing, fracture toughness testing, engineering critical assessments (ECA), metallurgy and materials characterization, failure investigation, chemical analysis, corrosion testing and welding engineering services to multi-sector clients around the world.
Phil Dent of Element started the technical presentation by a definition of sour service condition followed by description of various types of sour service cracking mechanisms and the environmental factors affecting the susceptibility of materials under sour service regimes. The sour service cracking mechanisms which were presented by Phil included Sulphide Stress Cracking (SSC), Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC), Stress Orientated Hydrogen Induced Cracking (SOHIC), and Soft-Zone Cracking (SZC). The various test methods such as Four Points Bend test (NACE TM0316), C-Ring test (NACE TM0177, Method C), Full Ring test (BS 8701), and Uniaxial tensile test (NACE TM0177, Method A) were explained by the presenter.
Phil Dent, Element’s Global Corrosion Specialist explains SSC Phenomenon
The corrosion testing laboratory visit was accomplished under supervision of Paul Roberts – Corrosion and Chemistry Manager after a brief introduction of the safety points. The corrosion testing services cover a full range of environmental testing simulations, including pipeline corrosion testing for sour and non-sour applications, hydrogen testing, pitting, full ring tests, as well as SCC tests.
Element Laboratories in Aberdeen, specialise in materials qualification for sour service applications and offer standard HIC, SSC tests and also more specialised Full Ring and SOHIC tests and follow such international testing standards and protocols as ASTM, IP MIL and NACE. The summarised information about the facilities and test procedures for H2S sour service axial tensile test, high temperature / high pressure, electrochemical tests and strain gauging was delivered by Paul.
Element Laboratory Example of Serious SCC Type Cracking
The questions raised by attendees during the technical presentation and laboratory visits were well responded to by the Hosts. This event attracted a high interest within the professionals and executives of major oil and gas operators, engineering consultancies, and service companies in Aberdeen, to attend and take the benefits by visiting one of the major testing and materials qualifications bodies here in United Kingdom. Overall, it proved to be an excellent event in every respect.
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Aberdeen Newsletter – March 2018 Meeting.docx
The February event focused on internal corrosion management Issues, particularly corrosion mitigation by chemical control and optimization. A very enjoyable and informative presentation was given by Emma Perfect, CEO of LUX Assure Ltd, who described the development of an onsite technique for measuring dosage of corrosion inhibitors used in the protection of pipelines. This advanced technique was developed as there was a perceived need to identify more quickly, and more accurately, when dosing levels of inhibitor were either below or above the threshold for protection, and hence allow an operator to adjust levels to better protect equipment from corrosion or have options to lower the dosage level to reduce costs of inhibitor supply.
A well supported event at Palm Court Hotel
Development of the LUX Assure Control Concept commenced in 2008 and the company has been supported by key energy industry players including Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Statoil Technology Ventures, along with the Scottish Investment Bank and Archangels / Private Investors. The technique relies on the fact that corrosion inhibitors form micelles in the body of the fluid once all available sites for absorption are occupied. This is essentially a saturation point, and the micelles formed increase in concentration as inhibitor is supplied in excess of optimal levels.
With access provided to suitable trial sites, the development of the technique and a suitable kit for onsite monitoring progressed over a period of 3-4 years until it was fully commercialized in 2013. LUX Assure gathered data to show operators that this technique could be used to test fluids and identify the Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) of a surfactant above which micelle formation occurs. But the real challenge for LUX Assure was to develop a kit, (now known as CoMic TM) which operators offshore could use to sample and analyse fluids in the field in relatively uncontrolled environments without precise preparation. The specialised kit includes detection reagents and an optical analyser. Final data processing evaluation of the sample is still currently performed back at the offsite laboratory and results and advice swiftly communicated back to the field, but a full onsite service is currently being progressed
The presentation, which was well received, went on to describe case studies and discuss when samples may not be suitable for testing, and also the correct use and interpretation of the data for the test situation. It is hoped that in the near future that all data interpretation can be made by the test operator if a practical and proven site assurance system can be developed.
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Aberdeen Branch February 2018 Meeting – Newsletter Vol.1.R1
The Branch continued its successful 2017-2018 session with a high turn-out (68 attendees) at its joint event with the Mining Institute of Scotland (MIS) and IOM3 Oil and Gas Division, (Over the last few years MIS has established a strong working relationship with the Aberdeen branch and holds an annual joint technical evening that is funded alternatively).
The key topic under discussion was Corrosion under Insulation (CUI). This is a major issue for not only the oil and gas sector, but industry in general, with an estimated annual cost to the UK of £28 billion. The event started with a buffet and a poster presentation from Tianyang Lan, a MSc student from Northampton University, who presented the experimental work that he had been undertaking, assessing both physical and electrochemical techniques for measuring CUI. Two physical methods and two electrochemical methods were used in this test work, Eddy Current Testing (ECT), IR Thermography (IRT), Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and Electrochemical Noise Method (ENM). The samples used to conduct the experiments were carbon steel panels at different corrosion stages, used to simulate the pipe condition, with standard maintenance organic coatings and insulation tapes representing the pipe insulation. Results have indicated that ECT/IRT could not discriminate rusting beneath a coating when it was greater than about 250microns thick however the electrochemical methods showed immense promise. Insulation of course covers all signs of corrosion.
MIS, with IOM3 Oil and Gas Division, had arranged two technical presentations. The first was given by Rebecca Allison of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, (OGTC, a public / private initiative), who introduced the topic of CUI and the role of the OGTC in addressing the challenges of CUI. Rebecca provided an overview of new technologies being supported by the OGTC and got comprehensive feedback from the audience on these, however she highlighted that addressing CUI is not just about technology, a holistic approach including working practices, procedures, competency, human factors and data management is required.
Bill Brown and Mike Dixon of The Rope Access Company (TRAC) then built on the overview provided by Rebecca with a presentation providing results from their field and yard trials assessing the latest tools and techniques available to measure and analyse CUI, which included developments with pulsed eddy current and digital radiography. Field and yard work highlighted key issues for practitioners to be aware of.
The Oil & Gas Industry has experienced many challenges when inspecting for Corrosion under Insulation (CUI), assessing the condition of steel components under Engineered Composite Wraps and the minimum remaining wall thickness under surface scabs / blisters. The aim of their OGTC supported project is to try and determine the limitations of the available NDT methods relative to each application. TRAC plans to share the ongoing research and development overview obtained to date.
At closing, a warm vote of thanks to all the presenters was made by the new MIS President Bob Laird for their valuable contributions which were very much appreciated by all those in attendance. Next year’s joint meeting is already scheduled for 27 November 2018 at the Palm Court.
Information about all forthcoming Aberdeen branch activities can be found on the diary page of the magazine and on the Institute website, 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. Aberdeen Branch have also established their new Media Centre on LinkedIn, which can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/aberdeen-icorr/recent-activity/
The 2017-2018 ICorr Aberdeen Sponsors currently include: Aberdeen Foundries Ltd, Atkins, CAN Offshore Ltd, CORRPRO Companies Europe Ltd, Cosasco, Deepwater, ICR, IMG Composites, IndCorr, LR, North East Corrosion Engineers, Oceaneering International Services, Permasense, Pipeline Technique Ltd, Plant Integrity Management, Spencer Coatings, Rosen, R&R Corrosion Ltd, Total E&P and TRAC.