Piping and vessel corrosion and erosion typically occur from the inside out, making it difficult to spot problems without some type of ongoing material thickness measurement program. A piping or vessel breach can lead to disastrous consequences, especially in processes with toxic or flammable materials. Traditionally, the maintenance staff has performed periodic manual measurements with wall thickness measurement tools.Emerson’s Craig Abbott alerted me to a Process Online article, Managing corrosion to create margin. The article opens describing the problems associated with corrosion:
Often the raw material itself may be corrosive, or may require processing by potentially corrosive chemicals. In some instances, the material’s potential to corrode can change at elevated temperatures or when it contacts water.
Strategies to reduce corrosion include the use sacrificial coupons as well as managing pH levels in the fluids. Both involve neutralizing the corrosiveness of the fluids in the piping or process vessel.
Manual testing involves not only the operations and maintenance staff’s time, but also:
…the installation and removal of scaffolding and the removal and replacement of any lagging.
As the measurement and communications technologies have advanced, so has a solution to replace scheduled manual corrosion and erosion testing.
…Permasense non-invasive sensors attach to critical areas of pipework on the outside and report thickness measurements twice daily. A central server adjusts the reading for temperature and inspects the measurement provided for noise, which is indicative of changes in the inner surface of the pipe — a common precursor to actual wall loss.
…can now monitor the impact of corrosion, to a per-batch level, adjusting corrosion mitigation processes and scheduling maintenance as required. Metal loss management then becomes part of the operational process control rather than just part of the maintenance process.
Read the article for more about these wireless Permasense corrosion and erosion sensors and how they help improve operational performance. For those in the Asia-Pacific late morning/early afternoon, Middle East and European morning and North America’s night (on the prior evening), join Craig on August 17 for a webinar on the Permasense wireless corrosion sensing technology at 1PM Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC +10).
You can also connect and interact with other Industrial Internet of Things/Wireless sensor experts in the Wireless group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.