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Corrosion management

Sustainable solutions for corrosion management

Corrosion is a frequently under-estimated issue in every industry where water comes into contact with steel structures, as in shipbuilding, offshore constructions or water treatment plants. The costs related to corrosion have a significant impact on the economy as a whole. A report by DNV-GL estimates the costs attributable to corrosion at 3.8% of European GDP, i.e. approximately 500 billion Euro. Innovation plays a vital role in corrosion management, given that one-third of corrosion-related costs could be avoided. Sirris provides advice to companies on both the prevention and monitoring of corrosion. Access to the right information can lead to better decisions at technical and management level. An adapted design, the appropriate selection of materials and coatings, and a data-driven risk-based inspection system can reduce costs for many companies.


Sirris is involved in various initiatives and research projects in this field. 

Assessment of the life cycle of Belgian wind farms

Belgium is systematically increasing the number of wind farms in the North Sea. In 2009, the first six wind turbines of the C-Power offshore wind farm started producing green energy. By the end of 2020, 2.3 million households will be supplied with green offshore wind power. An advanced procedure is required to ensure the structural integrity of these giants and the energy they supply. Given the corrosive environment, high costs of repair and limited accessibility, offshore wind farms have become pioneers in the development and application of new corrosion management methods. Accurate sensors set-ups and assessment procedures will help wind farm owners and operators to further reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) to less than €60/MWh. 


The MAXWind (MAintenance, Inspection and EXploitation Optimisation of Offshore Wind Farms subjected to CorrosionFatigue) project aims to provide a better estimate of the remaining life cycle of offshore wind turbines and to provide optimised inspection plans for a fleet of similar assets. Combining real-world measurement data and advanced simulation models – which map the effect of corrosion and fatigue – enables operators to update structural reliability on a regular basis. The MAXWind project will focus on monopile foundations, the most commonly used type in Belgian waters.


The potential of applying these developments to onshore structures or fleets of assets in other fields is evident. Sirris is ready to help companies make the transition to ensure this knowledge and expertise is also deployed in other sectors.



Field lab support for the process industry in the fight against corrosion

The area adjacent to the Flanders-Netherlands border has one of the largest process industry clusters in the world. To maintain the region’s current position in the industry, it is of paramount importance to ensure the machines are in optimum condition, safe and operate with minimal environmental impact. Corrosion management is essential to achieve this objective.


The Interreg Field Lab Corrosion and Insulation project - supported by the Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland -  was set up for this purpose. The Field Lab combines existing and new test infrastructure for corrosion prevention, detection and repair, based at three knowledge and educational institutions in the border region. Sirris intends to further increase its existing infrastructure and its knowledge on material selection, coatings and corrosion monitoring. The infrastructure is aimed at industrial research and support for both the process industry and all other sectors where corrosion has a significant impact. 

Iterreg Vlaanderen NEderland

Efficient determination of corrosion risks using environmental parameters

Optimum corrosion management can prevent 25–30% of current corrosion costs. Management is currently based on general guidelines, despite the fact that corrosion is driven by specific local conditions. This forms the basis for the SOCORRO (Seeking Out CORROsion) Interreg 2 Seas project, which is developing an online application that uses environmental parameters to estimate the risk of corrosion. The accumulated corrosion risk over time can be used for a risk-based inspection schedule and data-driven management decisions.


The application uses an artificial intelligence algorithm and a standardised sensor set-up. Its effectiveness will be demonstrated in various applications: offshore wind turbine foundations, harbours, jetties, wastewater treatment plants and in the process industry. Once validated, the open-source software will be made available to manufacturers, operators and end users, to ensure appropriate measures can be taken to decrease the costs of corrosion.


Compared to direct measurements of the corrosion rate, the added value lies in environmental parameters indicating the risk to which the whole installation – or installations under similar conditions – is exposed. This is not the case for direct corrosion measurements, which provide detailed local data. Therefore, both approaches are fully complementary.


Socorro project interreg