Non-Intrusive Wireless Corrosion and Erosion Monitoring

by | Jan 17, 2017 | Asset Management, Industrial IoT

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

A Joint Research Centre (JRC) Scientific and Policy Report, Corrosion‐Related Accidents in Petroleum Refineries, found [emphasis and hyperlink mine]:

Notably, of the 137 major refinery accidents reported by EU countries to the EU’s eMARS [Major Accident Reporting System] database since 1984, around 20% indicated corrosion failure as an important contributing factor.

Many other industries including oil & gas production, petrochemicals and chemicals, pipelines, metals & mining, power and more also have production processes impacted by the effects of erosion and corrosion. One way these manufacturers and producers are addressing these challenges is through better online continuous corrosion and erosion monitoring.

The rapid advancement of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies, especially in the sensors that are the “things” in IIOT, opens up simpler paths to a solution. This past October, Emerson announced an agreement to acquire Permasense. Permasense non-intrusive wireless corrosion monitoring systems use ultrasonic sensor technology, wireless data delivery and advanced analytics to continuously monitor for metal loss from corrosion or erosion in pipes, pipelines, vessels, columns, casings, etc.

Emerson's Jake Davies


In this 3:26 YouTube video, Permasense Corrosion Monitoring, Emerson’s Jake Davies opens by noting how erosion and corrosion problems cannot be seen since they occur inside the pipes and vessels.

Typically, large safety factors must be applied in both design and ongoing operational decisions which impact capital and operating budgets.

If corrosion and/or erosion rates exceed expectations, these conditions can lead to health, safety and environmental issues as the JRC research indicates.

Jake notes that non-intrusive corrosion and erosion sensors can help detect what is actually occurring instead of guessing. By knowing this, the process and production equipment can be driven to its maximum capabilities without increasing risks of unplanned outages or containment losses. These sensors provide wall thickness measurements directly to the operations and reliability & maintenance teams to make better-informed decisions.

The system consists of permanently mounted ultrasonic wall-thickness measuring sensors with power packs lasting up to nine years that communicate wirelessly with the WirelessHART plant network. Data visualization and analysis software enables decision making based upon real-time data flowing from the sensors.

Visit the Permasense site for more on the technology and specific applications. You can connect and interact with other reliability & maintenance experts in the Reliability & Maintenance group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.