Three Effective Ways To Test For Corrosion In Industrial Settings

Corrosion, the natural process of metal deterioration due to chemical or electrochemical reactions, can significantly impact the integrity, functionality, and safety of industrial equipment and infrastructure. Early detection and monitoring of corrosion are crucial if you want to minimize damage, prevent failures, and extend the service life of assets. What options are available if you want to test for corrosion? Read on to find out.

Visual Inspection

To begin with, a visual inspection is the simplest and most cost-effective method of detecting and evaluating corrosion in industrial settings without using any corrosion testing kits. It involves the first-hand examination of surfaces and structures for signs of corrosion, such as discoloration, pitting, cracks, or material loss. Visual inspections should only be performed by trained personnel, however, since this isn't a method that is foolproof by any means. Although using basic tools, like flashlights and mirrors, may be necessary, deploying more advanced corrosion-detecting equipment, such as borescopes, drones, or robotic crawlers, to access hard-to-reach areas will often be preferable. Note that although visual inspection is a valuable tool for identifying obvious corrosion, it may not be effective in detecting subsurface or hidden corrosion, particularly in large or complex structures.

Ultrasonic Testing

Ultrasonic testing (UT) is a non-destructive testing method that uses high-frequency sound waves to detect and measure corrosion in metal components. UT corrosion testing products work by sending ultrasonic waves into the material and measuring the time it takes for the sound waves to bounce back from the internal surfaces or defects. By analyzing the returned signals, well-calibrated corrosion testing products can determine the thickness of the material and identify areas of corrosion, erosion, or other anomalies. UT offers several advantages over visual inspection, as it can accurately measure the remaining material thickness, detect subsurface corrosion, and provide real-time results. Moreover, UT is highly versatile and can be applied to a wide range of materials, shapes, and sizes. However, it requires skilled technicians who are well-versed in using the sorts of corrosion testing equipment that utilize ultrasonic waves.

Electrochemical Techniques

Used to assess the corrosion behavior of metals in specific environments, electrochemical techniques constitute an entire group of laboratory and site-based techniques. Some common electrochemical techniques include linear polarization resistance, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and potentiodynamic polarization, among others. Specific corrosion testing products are available for each of these methods. Typically, they will involve the application of a small electrical signal to the material and measuring the resulting current or voltage response to evaluate the corrosion rate and mechanisms.

For more information on corrosion testing products, contact a professional near you.