ABERDEEN, Scotland, September 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Research underway at the University of Aberdeen using an intrinsically safe tool developed by CorDEX Instruments is set to provide a new model for corrosion assessment to enhance oil and gas safety.
The aim of the research is to shed light on how corrosion develops spatially on steel pipelines and vessels to improve replacement decisions and integrity management. This type of corrosion research is breaking new ground and will give deeper insights into the deterioration of oil and gas systems.
Many existing failure models allow for the inclusion of one active corrosion defect in the assessment. While these calculations can incorporate variability in the engineering problem, they do not take into account the effect of multiple areas of corrosion.
Dr Neill Renton, head of chemical engineering within the School of Engineering says that the research provides new understanding of how the spatial variability of corrosion can impact these systems.
He said: "The deterioration of assets through corrosion damage is a critical problem for the industry. The determination of remaining pipeline or equipment life and the ability to plan suitable maintenance and inspection programmes has a key part to play. Spatial correlation between areas of corrosion is not typically addressed in standard assessments. The methodology we are developing will extend existing models and provide new ones which can help engineers make timely decisions on replacement and shutdown.
"Using CorDEX Instruments' new UT5000 Intrinsically Safe Thickness Gauge has been highly beneficial as it has allowed us to gain exact readings to verify our research. The CorDEX CONNECT system provided accurate corrosion analysis and the MultiECHO™ technology improved measurement on uneven surfaces. It was crucial for us to have the most precise readings possible to provide a robust foundation for us to base our findings on.
"This technology has much wider implications for the industry as the ageing asset wave breaks. The intrinsically safe device allows for testing during normal operations without the need for any hot-working. This could allow testing on a much more regular basis than has been possible before, giving us a greater ability to track corrosion over time. If a number of oil and gas companies use the technology then there would be a dramatic improvement in our understanding of deterioration with associated safety benefits."
The industry is increasing importance on monitoring and maintenance of ageing assets. The HSE last year launched the KP4 initiative which provides guidelines for the inspection and maintenance of ageing installations.
Tony Holliday, CEO of CorDEX Instruments said: "Safety and corrosion are high up on the oil and gas agenda and we are excited to be involved in research with the University of Aberdeen which will play a part in enhancing industry procedures. Our equipment fits with what the sector seeks to do in relation to ageing assets. Without the need to wait for shutdown to conduct testing, it provides the opportunity for more comprehensive and regular inspections to be carried out."
The research into the spatial corrosion model is being carried out by MSc student Ryan Maurice as part of his Subsea Engineering degree. The final results of his dissertation will be submitted this month. It also forms part of a wider research project on corrosion, funded by National Subsea Research Institute (NSRI), which Dr Renton is conducting with Dr Srinivas Sriramula, lecturer in safety and reliability.
Teeside headquartered CorDEX Instruments has a base in Aberdeen, Scotland, and has a network of distributors across the USA, Europe and the Middle East.
CorDEX is a leading manufacturer of intrinsically safe and non destructive testing products for the oil and gas industry. For further information please visit http://www.cordexinstruments.com.
Interview opportunities will be available with Dr Neill Renton at 11am on Wednesday 7th September at CorDEX Instruments' stand 4E51.
Notes to Editors
About the UT5000
- The UT5000 is tested for Zone 1 IIC T4 hazardous areas, so no hot work permit is required.
- Designed for rugged environments, an over-moulded body protects a 3.1" RGB TFT colour screen with backlight. The dual-element, 4MHz transducer is adjustable up to 10Hz with accuracy of +/- 0.05mm.
- UT5000 accuracy is +/- 0.05mm, in both single point and continuous measurement mode, delivering unprecedented accuracy and flexibility to classified area NDT inspectors.
- The tester features both single point and corrosion modes, allowing the user to identify specific points of thinning in a pipe wall.
- Large, well-spaced buttons allow users ease of operation, even when wearing gloves.
- The UT5000 is available through distributors worldwide. Additional accessories, including extra transducers, software and RFID tags, are also available
About CorDEX Connect
- CorDEX CONNECT is the first system to integrate RFID technology, reporting software and a handheld intrinsically safe tester to enable predictive maintenance for pipelines and fixed equipment in hazardous areas.
- The UT5000 Ultrasonic Tester with CorDEX CONNECT uses RFID to tag every thickness measurement with a specific location, date and time. A proprietary software programme then collects and organizes the data, giving engineers a comprehensive view of the pipeline at any specific location.
- With CorDEX CONNECT, those responsible for monitoring pipeline safety can use data collected by anyone in the field to create predictive maintenance programs. Using CorDEX CONNECT trend analysis capabilities, trouble spots can be identified from measurements taken over multiple visits.
- Users can easily create printable charts and graphs, such as "thickness over time." Data also can be exported to Microsoft Excel or into a .csv file.
- CorDEX CONNECT senses when the tester may be out of calibration, alerting the user to suspect readings. When the tool is sent for calibration, real-time tracking allows the user to track its transport and calibration status.
SOURCE CorDEX Instruments