This paper presents the first real-scale results of the use of a new device that allows detecting whether or not active corrosion is taking place on a buried pipeline.
Within the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) SURF research group a new method was conceived and developed to monitor corrosion ‘as it happens’. The concept is a result of years of corrosion-related research being conducted within the group. The new approach is based on a device that applies a tailored signal to a structure and from the response can determine if the structure is corroding or not. Initial results were obtained on lab-scale setups: induced corrosion on pipes could be clearly identified. Experience gathered in the lab environment has ultimately evolved into the development and construction of a number of prototypes, called MobiZEN, suitable to be deployed in the field.
These prototypes in turn allowed engaging in real-scale tests on buried pipelines. Connection was made with the pipeline’s metal. Subsequently a signal was applied to the pipe using this device. Recording and treating the system response in turn allowed a continuous follow up of the corrosion state of the buried asset.
Adequate application of the new MobiZEN device thus allows determining if a buried pipeline section is corroding or not. Knowledge if a pipe with a coating defect is corroding or not permits deciding whether or not digging up the pipe and repair of the coating is needed.