Corrosion Innovation Award Winners for 2019

The global corrosion control community submitted a record total more than 50 nominations for MP’s 2019 Corrosion Innovation of the Year Awards program. Of those nominations, 10 were ultimately declared winners by a distinguished panel of corrosion-control experts. The winning innovations were announced on March 25, 2019 at CORROSION 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

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Adjustable Atmospheric Corrosion Test Rack

Category: Testing
Nominee: University of Alaska  Anchorage

Modular and adjustable atmospheric corrosion tests were designed and installed on the roof of the University of Alaska’s Engineering Parking Garage. Racks were 46 in by 46 in (1,168.4 mm by 1,168.4 mm) and can be adjusted to three different angles (0°, 30°, 45° to the horizontal), similar to a car hood. The angle of exposure affects the snow/ice retention, and this leads to the formation of varying thicknesses of moisture on metal surface. The angle of exposure also affects the wash off from rain, and this could change the atmospheric corrosion mechanisms. This rack helps in identifying the weather parameters by isolating the corrosion inducing variables and their primary effect on corrosion in extreme cold climates.

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Connectionless Electrical Pulse Response Analysis (CEPRA) Method

Category: Testing
Nominee: Giatec Scientific

The corrosion rate of rebar in concrete traditionally has been determined using polarization methods such as the potentiostatic, galvanostatic, or potentiodynamic techniques. These techniques are rather slow, and all require having an electrical connection to the rebar, which in turn requires damaging the concrete cover. Therefore, despite the satisfactory accuracy, these techniques have been rarely used for civil engineering structures.

The recently developed Connectionless Electrical Pulse Response Analysis (CEPRA) method eliminates the need to have a rebar connection and allows the determination of corrosion rate in less than 10 seconds per measurement. This enables the user to perform corrosion investigations with minimal disruption to the concrete element and also decreases the time required to inspect large structures. The method is based on using a Wenner array probe (a four-point probe) along the rebar under consideration and monitoring the potential difference between the two inner probes following the application of a step voltage from the outer probes. Using the potential difference between the two inner probes, the characteristics of the system, including the concrete resistivity and the polarization resistance/corrosion rate can be determined using a circuit model. The technique has been commercialized as a hand-held device (iCOR) and has been used in several laboratory and field studies, in which its accuracy has been found to be similar to other well-established methods.

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FeCrAL Accident Tolerant Fuel Cladding

Category: Materials Design
Nominee: Oak Ridge National  Laboratory; General Electric/Global Nuclear Fuel

The nuclear incident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011 showed the world the implications of using Zr-based materials, which rapidly and exothermically oxidize in steam environments, and in the nuclear core during accident scenarios. Since the Fukushima Daiichi incident, a range of material systems have been developed that will not oxidize in the same manner as the Zr-based materials, resulting in enhanced accident tolerance of the global nuclear reactor fleet. Iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys in initial screening experiments showed potential as a material system to replace Zr-based alloys, but typical commercialized FeCrAL alloys studied at the time (2012) did not have other properties that were acceptable for use in a nuclear fuel environment. The culmination of a multi-year, multi-faceted research, development, and deployment project has led to the production of a FeCrAl cladding deemed acceptable for pilot testing as an accident tolerant fuel (ATF) cladding. The basis of the effort was the optimization of the Cr and Al and solute additions to maintain high-temperature oxidation resistance without significant detriment to other performance factors such as strength, ductility, radiation tolerance, and fabricability, just to name a few. The result of these efforts produced the nuclear-grade FeCrAl ATF cladding, IronClad, which is now available in pre-commercial product forms.

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FlexGel–Corrosion Mitigating Thixotropic Gel

Category: Coatings & Linings
Nominee: Flexlife

The FlexGel range of products are various gels designed to halt the corrosion of carbon steel in subsea flexible and steel risers in the area of an outer sheath/coating damage. They work by displacing the oxygenated seawater from the region of the damage and replacing it with a non-corrosive gel. FlexGel can be used inside I-tubes to eliminate the air-water interface and coat the damaged riser, thus protecting both the outside diameter (OD) of the riser and the inside diameter (ID) of the tube. FlexGel can also be injected into flexible riser repair clamps subsea to form a flexible seal and prevent further corrosion. The thixotropic nature of FlexGel allows it to be pumped easily, yet within 48 hours its viscocity increases significantly to prevent splashing or a loss of gel due to waves and vessel motions. To additionally prevent microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), biocides have been suspended in the gel mixture for some applications. The deployment process to install FlexGel is in the annulus between an I-tube and riser.

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Hexcorder Pro CIPS/DCVG/GPS Survey Instrument

Category: Integrity Assessment
Nominee: Cathodic Technology Ltd.

The Cath-Tech Hexcorder Pro provides state-of-the-art pipe coating condition data (DCVG) &/or pipeline cathodic protection data (CIPS) with GPS coordinates. The Hexcorder may be operated in numerous modes including DCVG only, CIPS only, combined DCVG and CIPS, multi-person DCVG mode, and more.

The Hexcorder Pro utilizes a ruggedized tablet for the display and keypad resulting in an optimal user experience working with the free Android-based Cath-Tech survey app. The operator has the choice of viewing any two of five available survey screens to display survey data. Survey data can be displayed as a graph, numerically, as analogue gauges, birds eye view of the survey team or in real time on maps! Data is exported to a computer as a .csv file via USB connection and may be graphed using Excel or similar spreadsheet programs and is fully PODS compatible, with no special software required. The Hexcorder Pro is also Bluetooth-enabled to pair with Radio Detection and Vivax Metrotech pipe locators to capture the depth of cover data and store it seamlessly correlated into the survey data. Each reading taken during a survey with the Hexcorder Pro is tagged with latitude, longitude, altitude, voltage gradient, PDOP, TR OFF, TR ON, date, time, chainage, and any operator-inserted notes or comments.

The four key features are:

  1. It performs DCVG and CIPS in various combinations simultaneously with all data gathered at the exact same geographic locations at the exact same moment in time under the exact same field conditions, all while seamlessly correlated;
  2. It has rich graphics and data display in real time for maximum operator experience;
  3. No special software is required, since it utilizes standard Microsoft programs and an Android app;
  4. The device is purpose built by corrosion engineers for corrosion engineers, specifically designed to do nothing but pipeline integrity surveys.
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Nano-Clear Industrial Coating Solutions

Category: Coatings & Linings
Nominee: Assero Industrial Coatings; Nanovere Technologies, LLC

Nano-Clear (NCI) is manufactured using proprietary three-dimensional (3-D) nanostructured polymers producing extreme crosslink density. Nano-Clear is a one-component (1K), humidity cured, polyurethane/polyurea hybrid nanocoating that penetrates deep into the pores and voids of new or highly oxidized paint systems to form a hard, protective, clear, topcoat surface.

Nano-Clear protects against corrosion, restores existing colour and gloss, and provides strong resistance to ultraviolet (UV) degradation, extreme weathering, and chemical attack, as well as abrasion, chipping, marring, gouging, impact, and scratching. Nano-Clear also features repellency properties for oil and dirt, water and ice, brake dust, algae, and other environmental and biological contaminants. NCI is a flexible, solvent-based solution with low values of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

NCI can be applied to 2K epoxies, 2K polyurethanes, powder coatings, polyesters, gel coats, eCoats, latexes, fiberglass, and anodized aluminum (to prevent filiform corrosion). It is engineered to exceed the functional specifications required by industrial, marine, fleet, aerospace, and oil and gas markets.

NCI is designed to protect industrial and commercial equipment such a  rail tank cars, locomotives, fuel tanks, chemical storage tanks, earth moving equipment, ocean going vessels, fleet vehicles and support equipment, painted building structures, light posts, utility enclosures,  emergency response vehicles and equipment, oil and gas platforms, pipelines, shipping containers, military vehicles and support equipment, mass transit vehicles and equipment, and more.

Nano-Clear reduces maintenance frequency, recoating cycles, chemical costs (mixing, repair, cleaning), the length and frequency of repair and maintenance downtime, and the volume of coating material shipped/stored/applied to project surface. In turn, this reduces expenses. Customized "first-to-market" functional additives have also been developed that enhance the multifunctional attributes of NCI to enhanced levels of performance.

Nano-Clear is a reliable, long-term, eco-responsible, industrial solution that extends the surface life of an asset's coating system, and is backed by a 10-year warranty.

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Perforated Offshore Monopile for Corrosion Control and Enhanced Marine Habitats

Category: Cathodic Protection
Nominee: Center for Corrosion and Biofouling, Florida Institute of Technology

Offshore wind energy is a burgeoning industry in the United States, and realizing the benefits will require overcoming critical challenges including corrosion control and supporting stewardship of U.S. waters. This innovation addresses the need to improve on the existing methods for the corrosion control of the monopile interiors used to support the turbines by incorporating a design that also enhances marine habitats and fisheries. Retrofitting monopile interiors with cathodic protection has been attempted on existing wind farms to mitigate corrosion; however, this can cause new problems including water acidification and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) formation. Such chemistry changes can lead to unique localized corrosion concerns. The field experiments presented in this document have demonstrated that a cathodically protected perforated monopile structure while create an environment with more favorable corrosion mitigation, air quality, and water chemistry compared to a sealed structure. Furthermore, a perforated, cathodically protected structure will create a habitat for marine life and recruit a diverse population of settled and mobile organisms.

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Pocket-Sized GPS CP Interrupter

Category: Cathodic Protection
Nominee: Taku Engineering, LLC

The Pocket Interrupter One (PI-1) is a pocket-sized, two-channel, GPS-synchronized cathodic protection (CP) interrupter. This interrupter has a graphical user interface that makes it simple and easy to set up interruption cycles. It incorporates state-of-the-art technology to achieve its small size and 6-day battery life. It also incorporates an incredibly sensitive GPS engine, which allows it to acquire GPS time very quickly and in poor reception areas, such as indoors.

The team is currently working on integrating a high-speed datalogger and Bluetooth to allow continuous waveform capture and analysis during CIS and for telluric nulling. They have developed, patented, and tested a waveform analysis algorithm that can determine accurate instant off readings from highly variable waveforms. This algorithm will run on the PI-1L (waveform logger enabled) and provide the most accurate CP potentials possible.

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Category: Materials Design
Nominee: ROCKWOOL Technical Insulation

ROCKWOOL has developed the next generation of ProRox mandrel wound stone wool pipe sections that incorporate a hydrophobic additive called WR-Tech, or “Water Repellency Technology.” WR-Tech pipe sections are a best-in-class solution to mitigate the risk of corrosion under Insulation (CUI), resulting in lower total costs of ownership and increased site safety. WR-Tech pipe sections have five-times less water absorption (lower than 0.2 kg/m2) than the best available market standard, fast water dissipation, durability over the entire CUI temperature range, and less than 10 ppm of leachable substances.

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Self-Healing Additives for Corrosion Resistance

Category: Coatings & Linings
Nominee: Autonomic Materials, Inc.

The innovation is in the form of an additive comprised of a microencapsulated healing agent containing an epoxy resin, a polar diluent, corrosion inhibitors, and adhesion promoters. The microcapsules can be formulated into waterborne and solvent-borne liquid epoxy coatings, zinc-rich primers, powder coatings, and fusion-bonded epoxy coatings. Once fully cured, damage to these coatings ruptures the microcapsules releasing the healing agent into the site of damage where it polymerizes, seals the edge of the damage, delays undercutting, and facilitates maintenance of the coating’s adhesion. The improved maintenance of adhesion keeps the coating in service longer, thereby minimizing the extent of recoating and maintenance required and lost productivity due to downtime over the lifetime of the asset. A schematic illustrating the cost savings associated with the lifetime extension of a coating used in a corrosive environment is provided.

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