London Branch AGM

London Branch AGM

The branch AGM was held in March, which was followed by the “President’s talk”. The chairman, Paul Brook, reviewed the activities of the branch over the past year and noted that we had had excellent presentations. The Treasurer, Jim Glynn, announced that again our finances were in good shape, and that surplus monies will be returned to head office.  Paul then asked if any members wanted to join the committee, and confirmed that existing members were happy to serve for another year.   Paul also informed the meeting that the branch is close to completing a venue move from Imperial College, Kensington to the IMechE offices in Bird Cage Walk, Westminster.  This should be a great home for London branch future technical talks, which will restart following the summer recess in October, on the second Thursday of the month as usual. More details will be available on Institute web site in due course.

Gareth Hinds then presented his views on  the future of the Institute, and discussed ways we could adapt to changes, including environmental challenges, the rise of digital communications, and how to encourage more young engineers to join the Institute, and how to support them. This generated a lot of discussion and interesting suggestions.

The April meeting, the last of this season, was joint with The Welding Institute, and was given by Alan Denney of TWI, on the subject of “High tensile steel bolts and nuts: hydrogen embrittlement and failure in corrosive environments.’

Alan started by talking about the failure of threaded components used as shear connectors for earthquake resistance on the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, which has been well documented in the technical press in the USA. These galvanised rods (in ASTM A354 grade BD steel) were pre-installed in 2008 in the supporting piers to the bridge superstructure which are above the water level. The superstructure was assembled and in 2013 the rod connectors were pre-tensioned hydraulically to 70% of UTS. A number of these suffered brittle failure, the published cause of which was that the rods failed due to hydrogen embrittlement arising from stress corrosion cracking.

Alan then proceeded to explain the conditions required for stress corrosion cracking, namely a combination of a susceptible material, a source of the hydrogen,  and tensile strength above a threshold value. He explained that the hydrogen could be either from internal sources in manufacture, or from an external source. The potential sources in manufacturing include hydrogen retained from steelmaking or hydrogen resulting from pickling of the components prior to coating. The external source would result from corrosion, the hydrogen being generated by the cathodic reaction. He explained that failures can occur in nuts as well as the bolts or threaded rods, and that in galvanized components
the zinc acts as a barrier to the outward diffusion of any trapped hydrogen.

Failures of structural bolts have a long history. Alan mentioned that his first encounter with bolts failing from hydrogen embrittlement was in the 1970s on a television transmission tower, with failures occurring in V grade and Y grade bolts on cold nights; the bolts being found on the ground in the morning, and his most recent experience of a failure was a few weeks before this talk. Apart from in transmission towers, such failures have also occurred in the recent past on prestigious building structures, and in offshore wind turbine towers. Recent occurrences known to Alan have been in large diameter high tensile bolts, generally in bolt grades 10.9 and above. He explained that there was a relationship with hardness of the fasteners (both bolt and nut), and covered recommendations in standards such as those published by DNV-GL for offshore wind turbine structures, which limit the highest strength grade to 10.9. He discussed the typical crack morphologies associated with hydrogen embrittlement and how the fracture surface could be ‘read’.

Alan then discussed some of the metallurgical aspects in bolt and nut materials and the recommendations and findings of work carried out by the Deutscher Schraubenverband (DSV) in relation to the desirable elements in the composition, and their proposed limits on chemical composition. He presented some findings from DSV on the failure thresholds in 10.9 bolts under ASTM F1624 test conditions with different coating types and then finished by summarising the findings:

n There is a risk of stress corrosion cracking with the use of fasteners with a UTS > 1000 N/mm2 in a corrosive or marine environment.

n The much-quoted guideline of 380 Hv as the threshold for stress corrosion cracking is not conservative, notably when there is a risk of external corrosion, even during temporary conditions.

n Controls which will improve their performance in marginal situations can be put in place for the bolt materials, their heat treatment and metallurgical controls, their coating systems and application, and their quality control and testing requirements .

However the main means of avoidance of SCC is to control the environment.

There was a lively question and answer session, with interesting contributions from the audience and the meeting was closed with a vote of thanks and a presentation to
the speaker.


We are pleased to announce the updated ICATS website has been launched. The address remains the same,, but it is more user friendly and works much better with phones and tablets.

As you will be aware ICorr has moved to new offices at Corrosion House, 5 St Peters Gardens, Marefair, Northampton, NN1 1SX.  This new facility includes state of the art training facilities where most of our courses will now be presented.

As previously announced, ICATS has also introducing the new ICATS Managers/Engineers Industrial Coating Awareness course. This is a structured training module for managers, engineers, specifiers, and anyone that would benefit from an understanding of coating application.

The module covers:

  • Health and Safety in industrial painting
  • Preparation standards
  • Blasting and abrasives
  • Mechanical and manual preparation
  • Other surface preparation methods
  • Painting specification
  • Toolbox talks
  • Paint technology
  • Galvanic series
  • Convertible and non-convertible Coatings
  • Over-painting existing paint systems
  • Paint manufacturers
  • Paint failures
  • QC and QA

The Industrial Coating Applicator (ICA) faces many issues within industrial coatings, and it is recognised that this role can be misunderstood, leading to a potentially dangerous situation, or misinterpretation, and an expectation of what can or can’t be achieved.

These are one-day classroom-based presentations, and the first one is planned for 4th July in Northampton.

The next Supervisor course will be on 2nd and 3rd July, and will also be held in Northampton. Please contact the office,, phone 01604 438222, or check the ICATS website for dates and details of all courses.

Aberdeen Branch

Aberdeen Branch

The branch was very fortunate to have some excellent speakers for its winter meetings at Robert Gordon University (RGU) which attracted good audiences.

Dr Ed Whyte, principal corrosion engineer, and Paul McCarthy, of Plant Integrity Management (PIM) commenced the Q1 2019 programme with some great insights into the concepts of Maximising Economic Recovery (MER). Ed’s role has encompassed the provision of corrosion and integrity engineering services to PIM’s clients, while Paul is currently involved in various maintenance and inspection optimisation projects for a range of North Sea Operators.

They discussed the historic barriers to MER and how a step change from 60-74% production efficiency has recently been achieved, highlighting that only a 1% increase in efficiency, can dramatically produce an extra 12 million barrels per year in the North Sea, as 2016 figures have demonstrated.

Dr Ed Whyte of Plant Integrity Management (PIM) discusses managing integrity issues v. MER.

Dr Ed Whyte of Plant Integrity Management (PIM) discusses managing integrity issues v. MER.

The initial UKCS Review (2013), the final Wood Report (2014) and new OGA (2015) UK MER Legislation (2018), have all recognised the importance of reducing UK plant 
downtime / lost production. The most high profile MER document being the Wood Review (

Although there has been a continuing downward trend in the number of plant losses, there remains an ever growing demand to limit UK Oil / Gas production outages, so as to maximise what income is available.

Most importantly, the presenters explained how gains to production efficiency can be achieved by approaching integrity management in a very different manner than has been the case before, through taking a long-term (but modular) view, with improved collaboration and engagement, assisted in all this by modern IT tools and devices that control data and costs more effectively.
The McKinsey Global Institute (2017) has studied in detail the longer term economic impact of “short termism”, and industry’s reluctance to invest in larger / longer maintenance projects. McKinsey claim that this figure is as high as 87% of executives and directors that feel pressured to demonstrate strong financial performance within 2 years or less, thus limiting available anti-corrosion / preventative maintenance expenditure.

In line with the McKinsey findings, PIM proposed that large maintenance projects be broken into more manageable / more achievable smaller repair / intervention scopes that target just one specific area or system, under a single project manager. This approach was then explained in greater detail by looking at the specific needs of upcoming CUI / PFP / FM preventative maintenance programmes and how they could be accommodated within this new modular approach to minimise external corrosion risks.

The full text of this most interesting and informative presentation can be seen at:

The February meeting was billed as a special Coating / Linings event, with two very knowledgeable presenters, Ajith A Varghese from International Paint Ltd and Gary Carswell of AEGION Group of Companies, who gave most interesting talks on Corrosion under Insulation (CUI) preventative coatings and Anti-Microbial Pipeline Linings, respectively.

The well attended Special Coatings Event at RGU in February.

The well attended Special Coatings Event at RGU in February.

Firstly CUI, which is a major issue that causes great cost to industry, and is currently the subject of a major project by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, Aberdeen (OGTC). CUI poses a significant operational, safety and economic challenge. This is magnified in the North Sea, where many of the assets and infrastructure are operating well beyond their expected design life, and the OGTC vision is to eliminate all corrosion failures due to CUI by 2026.

Ajith A Varghese from International Paint presents on alkylated amine epoxies.

Ajith A Varghese from International Paint presents on alkylated amine epoxies.

Ajith explained in great detail, the mechanisms of CUI, the integrity risks created, and the extensive research and development programmes undertaken in their Newcastle Laboratories. All prevailing ISO and NACE Standards, and their recent amendments, were discussed in the context of developing a new preventative product, and the lengthy but very necessary processes by which this is then taken to market, incorporating lessons learnt from field trials and customer feedback. In particular alkylated amine epoxies were discussed, which have been proven to have superior DFT cracking tolerance to over-application and increased productivity even at low temperatures, compared to standard epoxy phenolic systems.

Gary Carswell then explained in the context of internal corrosion prevention, how the use of protective pipeline liners has been very widely adopted by both the Energy and Non-Energy Sectors.
MIC related pipeline leaks typically account for 40% of all corrosion related failures, thus these compressive and rotational liner insertion processes can bring great advantages and enormous savings by extending the lives of water injection lines offshore and in many water distribution systems onshore. The 47km long Tweedsmuir offshore water injection lining was a prime example of this technology being put into practice for North Sea operations with sections pre-lined before laying.

This technology incorporates anti-microbial mitigation chemicals into the lining system that can then successfully prevent the growth and spread of MIC organisms. Typically a design life of 25yrs is specified for such lining systems but further R&D programmes are working towards a 50 year design life. In service failure of linings is extremely rare, provided adequate care is taken in respect of preparation and across pipeline joints.

Gary explained the many different lining types that protect against internal corrosion, their application systems and different geographical needs, in a very informative manner that was appreciated by all.

Both January and February talks generated many questions from the audience, which were well responded to by the speakers. The talks will be the subject of follow-up technical papers later in Corrosion Management.

Dr Yunnan Gao, the ICorr Aberdeen Chair, congratulated all speakers and presented them with Certificates of Appreciation.

Branch Chair Dr. Yunnan Gao presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Gary Carswell of Aegion.

Branch Chair Dr. Yunnan Gao presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Gary Carswell of Aegion.

The next technical evening, which will be run jointly with the Marine Corrosion Forum, will be held on Tuesday 30 April, when Dr. Ian Carpenter of Scaled Solutions, will present a talk on ‘Corrosion Inhibitor Screening: Impact of Test Approaches’ For the convenience of MCF conference attendees, this event will be held at ICorr’s old home, the Palm Court Hotel, starting at 5.30 pm.

Prior to this, a large range of papers will be presented by MCF commencing at 10.30 a.m, including:
• Oilfield reservoir souring; Forecasting of Microbiological sour gas production using the DYNAMICTVS© model, by Matt Streets of Rawwater Engineering.
• A comprehensive approach to Integrity assessment of Critical structural components operating in Marine environments with ASPIRE™ by Sebastian Hartmann, Payam Jamshidi, Innospection and TWI.
• CP inspection and monitoring of Subsea pipelines by Ross Fielding of Impalloy Ltd.

A full list of upcoming presentations can be found at

Looking further ahead, the branch will be hosting its annual full-day Corrosion Awareness course on 27 August 2019, comprising of a number of lectures / presentations focusing on microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) in pipeline systems. This year’s CAD programme will include talks by ROSEN specialists and other visiting speakers, on their MIC experiences from global operations covering – Sampling, Analysis, Monitoring of Pipelines for MIC damage, Chemical Mitigation / Cleaning Strategies and finally Inspection, Modelling and Monitoring approaches.

Most certainly this event will provide a very comprehensive introduction, to this very significant and often troublesome area of Corrosion Control / Prevention.

As usual, all branch presentations can be found on:, and full details of future events can be found on the diary page of the magazine and on the website, or by contacting,

New Head Office Building

New Head Office Building

As noted in the President’s column, the official handover of Corrosion House in Northampton from the architect, was performed at the beginning of March.

Apart from the outer shell and the roof, the building has been gutted and rebuilt, with unbelievably fantastic results. It’s a 3-story building, the ground floor being dedicated for the Admin team, the middle floor for training, and the top floor as a conference room. Each floor has its own kitchen, and the training centre has a breakout facility for delegates.

Trevor Osborne commented that this is a world class facility fitting for the Institute of Corrosion and based in a location in easy reach for both national and global customers, and that we look forward to welcoming our customers and members to our new facility.

It’s state of the art, extremely well converted, and a credit to all those involved.

From the Editor

From the Editor

Another year is almost over, and if you’re like me, you’ll have wondered where the time has gone, with all those things you planned to do, but haven’t managed. I had hoped to get more cutting-edge technical articles in each issue, but didn’t quite manage this. However this issue has a bumper four technical articles, two relating to testing and two about above ground storage tanks.

There is a short piece on measuring dry film thickness of thermal sprayed aluminium coatings and the importance of the measuring method, and a thought-provoking look at specifications and protective coating testing, by experts from AkzoNobel.

The articles on storage tanks cover the use of Finite Element Modelling to more accurately design the cathodic protection system, and how looking at an alternative industry helped solve a corrosion protection problem.

Looking forward to next year, there are exciting developments in our training programmes and our move to new offices, and I look forward to bringing you news of these. I would welcome technical article submissions from members (and their colleagues) on their developments in corrosion protection and control. These can be sent to the editor, A list of the editorial themes planned for next year can be found in the media pack at,

All that remains is for me to wish all readers the compliments of the season.
Brian Goldie, Consulting Editor

London Branch News

The last presentation of the 17/18 season was a joint meeting with NACE UK, and Francois Lirola of Saipem, gave a very interesting talk entitled, “Fusion Bonded Joint: an innovative technology for cost effective plastic pipe installed in J&S lay”.

In deepwater, corrosion protection of flowlines is becoming a major issue. Conventional corrosion allowance of carbon steel flowlines, or cladding, leads to excessive procurement costs, installation weight, welding and NDT challenges. Francois introduced an interesting alternative to achieve an acceptable corrosion protection – is the use of plastic liners. However, plastic lining has been mostly limited up to now to reel lay. SAIPEM has developed and patented an innovative and cost effective field-joint system, the Fusion Bonded Joint (FBJ), which can maintain the corrosion barrier across girth weld locations along the flowline. It has minimal impact on the offshore laying rate and it is based on field proven technologies and methods that are commonly employed in gas transportation networks. The design and fabrication of the FBJ system were explained, and the results of the extensive qualification that has been carried out, were shown.

This excellent presentation led to a high level of discussion by the audience, and the chairman thanked Francois for the time taken in preparing this talk and for coming to London to deliver it.