Situation Analysis

The prime objective of intrusive corrosion monitoring is to obtain the best possible data that will help mitigate corrosion related losses. Typically there are two reasons to instigate corrosion monitoring:

  • Reactive
- A problem has occurred and monitoring is used to troubleshoot or verify that the problem has been resolved
  • Proactive
- Identify potential problems and monitor for activity

It is recommendable to be proactive and initiate monitoring before problems occur. Monitoring allows the establishment of a corrosion rate baseline upon which future operations can be compared and aids in system life span forecasting. It will assist in pointing out problem areas or trends before a failure occurs, and also proves due diligence in protecting assets, safety and the environment.

Through industry experience, corrosion cause and effects are now much better understood than before. Since we know qualitatively in what phase and under what conditions corrosion takes place, the focus should be on establishing the severity of the attack. In order to obtain that knowledge we must monitor the system on-stream or by inspection during shutdown. Having determined the severity of the attack, preventative measures are taken, which in turn must be monitored to determine the effectiveness of the measures. For example, monitoring can greatly aid in the decision to use, or optimize the use of, chemical inhibitors.

Key Factors to Monitoring

  • Use multiple methods to evaluate (coupons, probes, bacterial)
  • Interpretation of results is critical – do the results make sense?
  • Use monitoring to formulate a plan of action and help focus inspection program

Since monitoring data is used to make prevention decisions, it is critical to regularly monitor a comprehensive cross-section of the facilities, ensure that the data is reliable and evaluate worst possible conditions/cases. Using a company with reliable equipment, responsive service technicians and a lab facility dedicated to corrosion coupon analysis will provide facility owners with the best information possible.