Visible pipeline corrosion prevention
Pipeline corrosion is a leading cause of pipeline failure. Digipipe provides pipeline corrosion prevention techniques to help you protect your pipeline and the environment.
Pipeline corrosion protection should always be on a pipeline engineer’s mind. Pipeline corrosion affects all kinds of pipelines and can result in catastrophic incidents. The pipeline industry needs powerful corrosion prevention and monitoring solutions to ensure safe and reliable operation.
What is pipeline corrosion?
Corrosion is the deterioration of the pipeline over time. It is caused by an electrochemical reaction between the material of the pipe, such as iron or steel and its environment. Corrosion can occur both on the inside of the pipeline, caused by the products flowing through it, and on the outside due to environmental factors such as soil composition.
Pipelines have a long lifetime. Over years and decades of operation, they carry a range of products, including hazardous ones, that consistently cause wear on the pipeline's walls as they flow through it. This wear causes internal corrosion that weakens the pipe and increases the risk of incidents, such as leaks. When combined with the risk of external corrosion, the need for reliable and effective pipeline corrosion protection and monitoring techniques is clear.
Types of pipeline corrosion
Operators need to be aware of various types of pipeline corrosion. Some of the most common include:
- Oxygen Corrosion – Better known as rust, oxygen corrosion is caused by a reaction between oxygen and water that creates an oxide layer (i.e., rust) that can gradually corrode a pipe
- Uniform Corrosion – Similar to oxygen corrosion, a reaction between oxygen and water causes uniform corrosion along the length of a pipeline, resulting in continuous wall thinning
- Pitting Corrosion – When a pipeline suffers from rust or uniform corrosion, localised sections can wear away and small ‘pits’ form in their place that can be very difficult to detect
How do you prevent pipeline corrosion?
While some forms of corrosion are fairly easy to spot (it’s clear when a pipe is rusting), others are much harder to identify or predict before it is too late. Established methods of pipeline corrosion protection include:
- Choosing the right pipe materials and coatings that resist corrosion
- Using cathodic protection by causing the metal to act as an electrical cathode by running a current along the pipe and using a ‘sacrificial metal’ anode that corrodes ahead of the pipeline
At Klarian, we understand the importance of pipeline corrosion prevention. Digipipe offers a solution for monitoring wall thickness to track corrosion and a method for remotely monitoring and optimising cathodic protection.
Over years and decades of operation, pipelines endure extreme weather, abrasive fluids, third-party threats and geo-hazard risks. As assets age, valid concerns about their structural integrity may arise. After a certain point, it can be challenging to say confidently that a pipe has a sufficiently solid metal thickness to operate safely under its specified range of operating conditions.
Monitoring metal thickness at points along pipelines, especially in more vulnerable places, over time will give operators confidence in their assets’ structural integrity and allow them to track the rate of gradual decay.
Klarian’s ultrasonic sensor system can include an application for metal thickness: the sensor measures the time-of-flight for an ultrasonic signal to pass through the metal, reflect off the far side and return to the transducer to indicate thickness. Our edge controller can then acquire data from multiple sensors so you can monitor them via the Digipipe platform. Using the map view, you can track the data points and set thresholds to trigger alerts if conditions change.
Digipipe, extended by our ultrasonic sensor system and edge controller, can provide you with a comprehensive method for monitoring wall thickness for your peace of mind.
Cathodic protection is one of the main methods for preventing pipeline corrosion. Cathodic protection systems need monitoring and adjusting to ensure they provide suitable protection.
Engineers take frequent trips out to remote locations to take simple measurements. Following analysis, the engineers will often need to make the trip again to adjust the equipment manually. From start to finish, the entire process is time-consuming, long and inconvenient.
Klarian does not believe in latency. Our data analytics capture inputs from multiple sources and transform them into real-time actions. Digipipe provides operators with recommendations at their fingertips, so they can easily send adjustments to the control system.
In some scenarios, the analysis is not as simple. Operators may have multiple objectives, such as ensuring optimum protection while minimising power consumption and ensuring that the power sources operate in range. In cases such as these, Klarian can offer multi-objective optimisation algorithms to solve your challenges.
Whatever your scenario, Klarian can help you optimise and monitor your cathodic protection for peak efficiency.