Collaboration Begins on Corrosion Research

TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2017

A multimillion-dollar research endeavor will begin cracking the code to determine what makes corrosion so destructive.

Led by BP and the University of Manchester, the research project could help reduce the impact surface degradation (such as corrosion and wear) has on industries across the globe.

Industrial Concern

Many industrial assets, such as tools and machinery, are susceptible to surface degradation. When it comes to the demanding environments of the oil and gas sectors, corrosion and wear are even of higher concern. Despite the global impact of surface degradation, corrosion itself is not well understood. A number of industries depend on field experience in order to manage ongoing corrosion issues.

“Although there have been impressive strides in the empirical understanding of corrosion, many of the underpinning assumptions and industrial practices date back decades,” said Philip Withers, Regius professor of materials at the University of Manchester and project principal investigator.

The collaborative research project—known as “Preventing Surface Degradation in Demanding Environments”—could change the current understanding of how surface degradation works.

About the Project

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the project involves researchers from BP, the University of Manchester, Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge. Previously, these institutions had worked together through the BP International Center for Advanced Materials. Researchers from Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds also contributed their expertise to this project.

The team has received 5 million pounds ($6.5 million) in joint funding from the EPSRC and BP, in the hopes of discovering the processes that cause surface degradation and developing new strategies to mitigate them.

“By harnessing the latest advances in computer modelling, atomic level in-situ experimental techniques and in-operando imaging and characterization, this program will focus on understanding corrosion scales and localized corrosion,” Withers added. “Simply put, we aim to decipher the fundamental mechanisms that cause corrosion so that we can combat it more effectively in the future.”

The funding for the project came as part of the EPSRC’s Prosperity Partnerships, which aims to support existing strategic research-based collaborations between business and universities, according to the University of Manchester. The Prosperity Partnerships initiative is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which has supported 10 partnerships that involved 17 universities and 30 industrial partners.

“BP has identified surface degradation as a high priority area for future research, so we are delighted to have been awarded funding by the EPSRC to address the problems of corrosion and wear in one large collaborative project,” Angelo Amorelli, technology vice president of group research for BP, said in a statement. “We hope to extend the safe operational lifetimes of current materials and develop new materials which will ultimately be of great benefit to multiple industrial sectors.”


Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Colleges and Universities; Corrosion; Corrosion protection; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EU; Latin America; NA; North America; Quality Control; Research and development; SA; Surface preparation

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