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Fullagar Ltd create real-time Corrosion Sensor for pipelines

Fullagar Ltd, a joint venture between TWI and Lloyd’s Register, have released a new magnetic field-based device capable of real-time monitoring of corrosion in pipelines.

Flow-accelerated corrosion (FAC) is an insidious and widespread problem for carbon steel piping internals in feedwater systems and steam generator circuits in fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. This persistent problem can lead to a reduction in wall thickness and risk a loss of containment, creating resultant safety concerns for personnel and plant operation.

The Fullagar Corrosion Sensor system is a non-intrusive inspection and monitoring method that wirelessly communicates pipe wall thickness readings to both reduce the need for internal visual inspection and avoid the need for personnel to operate in hazardous locations.

The real-time monitoring system can operate at temperatures up to 300°C and uses energy harvesting as a means of power supply, which allows for permanent installation on expected areas of erosion and corrosion. Higher operating temperatures, of up to 500°C, can be achieved if the electronics are shielded.

The system uses a novel magnetic flux leakage sensor whose magnetic field increases as the thickness of a steel component is reduced. The thickness measurements are transmitted wirelessly and can be read using a mobile app at a 20 metre range, with the sensor system offering cost savings for industry as compared to other monitoring methods.

Designed to operate at locations where piping is particularly susceptible to wall thinning, in hazardous locations and those areas with restricted access, this corrosion sensor is perfect for those areas where conventional wall thickness inspection by ultrasonic thickness gauges is not feasible. The corrosion sensor system is able to assess material delamination, fibre breakage and debonding as well as corrosion and crack growth monitoring and is ideal as a support tool for electron beam welding, calibration and measurement, providing quality assurance to electron beam processing.

Launched in 2018, Fullagar Ltd is a joint venture between TWI and Lloyds Register. The venture aims to progress several technologies to market – including AEHIC, BeamAssure, and a Corrosion Sensor system.

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