Process manufacturing involves moving fluids through pipes and vessels. A major concern in many industries is the corrosion and erosion that may occur inside the pipe walls. Corrosion monitoring systems are designed to track this degradation process.
In a Flow Control article, How to Specify a Corrosion Monitoring System, Emerson’s Jake Davies provides insights in requirements to consider in the selection process.
Jake opens the article noting the financial impact of erosion and corrosion globally in the process industries—excluding costs associated with safety & environmental incidents:
According to a National Association of Corrosion Engineers International study, “The global cost of corrosion is estimated to be US$2.5 trillion, which was equivalent to 3.4 percent of the global GDP in 2013. By using available corrosion control practices, it is estimated that savings of between 15 and 35 percent of the cost of corrosion could be realized; i.e., between US$375 and $875 billion annually on a global basis.
He describes the two main types of corrosion monitoring systems:
…traditional inline probes that place a sacrificial element that deteriorates from corrosion inside the process fluid, and ultrasonic systems that measure wall thickness.
Jake focuses his recommended specifications on non-intrusive ultrasonic systems. One important consideration is to see real field data for these systems instead of data from controlled lab conditions and the quality (lack of degradation) of these measurements over time. Another consideration is the impact on the measurement of internal pipe roughness. Look for monitoring systems that embed:
…signal processing methods take advantage of the historical data delivered by the sensor to adapt and deliver wall thickness measurements immune to the effects of internal surface roughness.
Other signal compensations to add to your requirements include temperature and piping materials of construction. The suitability for hazardous locations is also important in many applications. For many hydrocarbons upstream, midstream and downstream processes, the ultrasonic sensors will need to be rated for Zone 0 or Class 1, Division 1 hazardous areas.
Another important consideration is the temperature rating of sensor both on the surface of the pipe and ambient surroundings. For example:
Emerson’s Permasense waveguide technology enables continuous sensor operation on metalwork operating up to 600 °C (1,100 °F).
Read the article for more of Jake’s recommended requirements around how the data from these systems should be retrieved and presented and the importance of owning the data.
Learn more about wireless, non-intrusive corrosion monitoring systems in the Permasense section on Emerson.com. You can also connect and interact with other corrosion monitoring and wireless sensor experts in the IIoT & Digital Transformation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.