A New Approach to Pipeline Corrosion Prevention and Monitoring

A new method of pipeline corrosion protection, which provides the answer to both elimination and monitoring of corrosion, has recently been developed by North East based Abfad Limited.

Unprotected pipelines are incredibly susceptible to corrosion, these could be buried in the ground, submerged underwater or exposed to the environment, all are vulnerable. Corrosion in pipelines is incredibly perilous, as it can damage the structural integrity of the pipeline, making it dangerous for transporting potentially hazardous goods, such as oil and gas.

Some pipelines may deteriorate slowly, while others may have exhausted their useful life after only a year of operation, some pipelines have even been found to have lost 70% to 90% of their mass due to corrosion.

Pipeline repair, due to corrosion, can run into the millions and in some cases billions, operators need to consider quality preventative strategies. Costs for corrosion will continue to rise and pipelines will continue to deteriorate. Without the proper prevention measures in place, costs for repairing a corroded pipeline will continue to escalate. The cost of installing, monitoring and maintaining proper pipeline corrosion protection is far outweighed by the increasing risks of pipeline failure.

Several methods currently exist for controlling and inhibiting pipeline corrosion, such as Cathodic Protection, specialist coatings and wrappings, but no matter which method, or combination of methods, is used, only with an effective maintenance and monitoring program can corrosion related problems be controlled and minimised.

With their newly developed PIPEVAC® system, Abfad have what they believe is the answer to corrosion prevention and monitoring.

Experienced Corrosion Management Team

Abfad are well known for protecting storage tanks from the problems associated with corrosion. They do this by applying specialist solvent free resins to fully encapsulate the internal steel of the storage tank, providing a corrosion resistant barrier, extending the life of the tank and saving the client a lot of money in the long term.

They also install their own solvent free double skin tank lining system, Fuelvac®, which incorporates vacuum technology to create a leak detection monitoring system within the storage tank. This protects the steel from corrosion, and also provides internal monitoring to alert the client if a problem occurs inside the tank, protecting the surrounding environment from spills and protecting valuable assets.

Preventing And Monitoring Corrosion

Due to Abfad’s success with corrosion management in storage tanks, they have taken the step to adapt their knowledge and experience into protecting pipelines, with the creation of PIPEVAC®. This new development eliminates the conditions with which corrosion can occur by creating a vacuum around the pipe substrate, which prevents moisture and oxygen from attacking the external surface of the pipeline, thereby erasing any of the conditions for corrosion to take hold.

Utilising a vacuum around the pipe in this way also enables leak detection monitoring to be integrated as part of the system, meaning that the operator can be notified of any internal corrosion issues, and allowing for easy locating. This leak detection feature of PIPEVAC® can be a useful tool in aiding maintenance and inspection programs, if a problem occurs along the pipeline and the incorporated vacuum is breached, the monitoring system alarms, notifying the client there is a problem and which section of pipeline the problem occurs in.

Adding to the versatility of the system, is the fact that it can be installed on both above and below ground pipelines, either in the factory on new pipe work, or in the field onto pipelines that are currently in-service.

Abfad see the PIPEVAC® system as a new approach to pipeline protection, employing vacuum technology to prevent corrosion from impacting on the pipe, avoiding any damage to pipeline integrity from corrosion, whilst at the same time allowing complete monitoring of the pipeline.

More information on PIPEVAC® can be found here.

Pipeline protected and monitored with Abfad's PIPEVAC system

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