Corrosion monitoring systems for structures in extreme marine environments

Lead Research Organisation: City, University of London
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Mathematical Sci

Abstract

Structures in the marine context are exposed to an extremely aggressive environment. Serious risks arise to marine structures through a combination of chemical, biological, and physical actions, which may result in significant costs of ownership and use. These are not just at the level of millions of pounds annually for repair, rehabilitation, and replacement, but also for 'cleaning-up' the contamination that would inevitably arise from failure. Seawater contains a wide variety of dissolved inorganic material, of which the chloride ion in particular significantly influences the corrosion of marine structures. In the atmospheric exposure zone, air-borne chlorides are major factors responsible for the corrosion of the concrete structures. In the splash zone, chlorides, waves and tides make a major impact on the degree of corrosion experienced through both chemical and direct velocity effects from ocean currents. Wave loading on structures can be highly destructive, particularly during storms, combining as it does with loading from extreme wave action and high winds. In the tidal zone, chlorides and the growth of bio-organisms together play an important role in promoting the progression of corrosion effects as, for example, organisms can grow on the surface of concrete, and this may lead to microbial disintegration of concrete itself. In the submerged area in addition to chlorides, the physical characteristics of the seafloor sediments can affect the deterioration of concrete; for example, the grain size and packing factors of the sediments affect diffusion through the sediments which has a major impact on the availability of oxygen and other corrosive agents. Given these complex effects of the ocean discussed above, and the important effect on the resultant corrosion of marine structures, advanced research, suitably prioritised, for more effective corrosion monitoring and better control is required to safeguard the integrity of the structures and their components which are exposed to such an extreme environment. Therefore, an accurate assessment of the corrosion conditions at different stages is of vital importance both for the proper selection of longer life materials, durable and anti-corrosion coatings, and for effective corrosion control, and forms an important backdrop for the study in this novel research project. To tackle this vitally important area, this application has been developed collaboratively by two academic groups, which are active in complementary aspects of the field, working together to create new solutions to recognised problems in this extreme environment. The applicants consider that this can be done most effectively through enhanced monitoring systems being created to make better and longer term use of current infrastructure and resources and thus to extend the life of structures.

Publications

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Abi Kaed Bey S (2008) Chloride ion optical sensing using a long period grating pair in Sensors and Actuators A: Physical

 
Description Successful development of a suite of corrosion-related sensors, including pH, chloride, strain and temperature and RH sensors to facilitate the real-time monitoring of concrete structures
Exploitation Route The design of pH, chloride sensors has been patented before the publication. The research has been widely publicized through publications, conferences and workshops.
Sectors Construction,Transport

 
Description The design of pH and chloride sensors has been patented before being published. Their commercial exploitation is still on-going as a couple of companies has expressed interest in looking into their commercial potential
 
Description EU CleanSky scheme
Amount € 598,963 (EUR)
Funding ID 607584 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 05/2014 
End 05/2016
 
Description Industry funding
Amount £182,083 (GBP)
Organisation Brecknell Willis 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2014 
End 05/2016
 
Description Sewer management
Amount $1,000,000 (AUD)
Organisation Sydney Water 
Sector Public
Country Australia
Start 05/2017 
End 06/2018
 
Description Standard grant
Amount £320,725 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H018247/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2010 
End 06/2013
 
Description Standard grant
Amount £88,042 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I006214/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2011 
End 05/2012
 
Description UKIERI
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2017
 
Description Water quality
Amount $700,000 (AUD)
Organisation Australian Research Council 
Sector Public
Country Australia
Start 07/2017 
End 08/2020
 
Description Amphora Non-destructive Testing Ltd 
Organisation Amphora Non-Destructive Testing Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
 
Description Building Research Establishment 
Organisation Building Research Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
 
Description Canadian National Energy Board 
Organisation Government of Canada
Department Canadian National Energy Board
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
Start Year 2006
 
Description Innovative manufacturing 
Organisation Industrial Microwave Systems Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of optical fibre sensors to be integrated into a microwave, which is used for low-carbon concrete curing, thus providing significant energy saving and low-carbon concrete manufacturing solutions.
Collaborator Contribution Working together with academics both at City and UCL, allowing for the creation of smart microwaves for low-carbon concrete manufacturing
Impact Journal and conference publications and new funding application is in the pipeline It is multi-disciplinary: involving physics, material sciences and engineering
Start Year 2013
 
Description Ove Arup Ltd 
Organisation Arup Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
 
Description Sewer corrosion monitoring 
Organisation Sydney Water
Country Australia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The collaboration between City University of London and Sydney Water enables the novel optical fibre humidity sensors developed at City to be deployed in sewers in Sydney for monitoring the rate of corrosion in concrete sewers for waste water management
Collaborator Contribution Contribution made by City: (i) Development of novel humidity sensors that are suitable for working in harsh conditions; (ii) software design to control the power consumption to enable continuous monitoring and data transmission powered by battery due to the lack of power supply in sewers; (iii) careful design and packaging of sensors to ensure the robustness and longevity of sensors working in highly acidic environment. Contribution by Sydney Water: (i) Working together with City colleagues for field implementation of novel sensors; (ii) investment of significant manpower time to undertake the joint work; (iii) supporting joint research funding application; (iv) providing cash support to speed up the field implementation process; (v) access to facilities and equipment at Sydney Water
Impact Australian NSW Water Awards 2017 Winner (http://www.awa.asn.au/AWA_MBRR/About_AWA/Awards/State_Awards/NSW.aspx) under the category of Research Innovation Award for 'Better management of sewers - exploiting photonics sensors research through its introduction to the water industry' It is multi-disciplinary: involving chemistry, physics and engineering
Start Year 2016
 
Title OPTICAL MONITORING SYSTEM 
Description A monitoring system (1) for an electric vehicle (11) that draws current from a conductor (13), the system (1) comprising: a plurality of sensor modules (31) distributed at spaced intervals throughout a conducting block (3) of a current collector (5), wherein the conducting block (3) contacts the conductor (13) in operation of the vehicle (11) and each said sensor module comprises an FBG (Fibre Bragg Grating) strain sensor (35) configured to output a first optical signal that varies in response to changes in strain and temperature of the conducting block (3) and a strain-isolated FBG temperature sensor (37) that is configured to output a second optical signal that varies in response to changes in temperature of the conducting block (3); an optical source (15) for illuminating each said sensor module (31); means (19) for optically coupling said optical source (15) to each said sensor module (31); and an optical signal interpretation module (17) configured to receive first and second optical signals from each said sensor module (31) via said optical coupling means (19), said optical signals being generated by said sensor modules (31) in response to illumination of said sensor modules (31) by said optical source (15), said interpretation module (17) being configured to capable of determining from said optical signals a temperature-independent strain measurement for each said sensor module (31). 
IP Reference WO2014072436 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed Yes
Impact Potential impact lies in the reduced failure of pantograph thus causing significant traffic disruption and cancellation of train operations
 
Title OPTICAL SENSOR 
Description An optical sensor (1) for in-situ monitoring of chloride ion concentration in concrete structures, the sensor (1) comprising: a sensor body (3) that fluoresces when illuminated by light, the sensor body (3) being configured to exhibit a change in fluorescence when illuminated in the presence of chloride ions, and means (5) for optically coupling said sensor body to a source of illumination. A system (11) is also disclosed, along with methods of synthesising chloride sensitive polymerisable fluorescent dyes, and chloride sensitive polymerisable fluorescent dyes. 
IP Reference WO2012098240 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed No
Impact This will make an impact on the construction industry by providing an early warning for maintenance and for repair
 
Title OPTICAL SENSOR 
Description An optical sensor (1) for pH monitoring in highly alkaline mediums, the sensor (1) comprising: a sensor body (3) that fluoresces when illuminated by light, the sensor body (3) being configured to exhibit a change in fluorescence in response to changing pH in highly alkaline mediums, the sensor further comprising means (5) for coupling the sensor body to a source of illumination. A system (11) is also disclosed, along with methods of synthesising pH sensitive polymerisable fluorescent coumarin dyes, and pH sensitive polymerisable fluorescent coumarin dyes. 
IP Reference WO2012098242 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed No
Impact This will make an impact on the construction industry by identifying corrosion problems at an early stage to save costing for maintenance and repair.
 
Title Sensing strain in an elongate reinforcing bar using an optical fibre sensor with integrated Bragg gratings 
Description An apparatus and method for sensing axial strain in a reinforcement member of a reinforced concrete structure using at least one elongate light guide such as an optical fibre associated with said reinforcement member, said light guide including at least one integrated Bragg grating. Changes in axial strain applied to the reinforcement member can be detected by detecting a perturbation of frequency, amplitude, phase or polarization of light within the light guide. Preferably one or more optical fibres having a number of Bragg gratings are bonded into an elongate axial groove or slot formed in a side of a steel reinforcing bar or rod before it is embedded in a concrete or similar structure. The light guide may also be located within an axial bore within the reinforcement member. The apparatus may be used to determine cracks and other irregularities in the structure. The system may also be used for monitoring stress and strain in elongate reinforcing bars used as rock anchors. 
IP Reference GB2439993 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2008
Licensed No
Impact This will make an impact in the construction industry by providing an early warning of corrosion in order to minimize the cost for maintenance and for repair
 
Company Name Sengenia Ltd 
Description Sengenia Limited is a fibre optic sensor company, bringing ingenuity in sensing. Fibre optic sensors are revolutionising the world of sensing and monitoring through the recognition of their numerous advantages over alternative technologies. 
Year Established 2007 
Impact The company has been able to bridge the link between industry and the two academic organizations, City University London and Queen's University of Belfast, by promoting optical fibre sensor research at City to industry, in particular, to the construction sector.