Corrosion and flow assurance


IFS researcher in corrosion lab

Research areas

As we enter into new industrial domains to achieve decarbonisation and net-zero, iFS is prepared to both support mature energy technologies such as oil and gas within reducing their carbon footprint, and also use our expertise to accelerate advancements in renewable and low carbon technologies.

Our core areas of application are centered on material degradation challenges and are outlined below:

Core Areas of Application Relevant Expertise in iFS Associated Facilities
Carbon capture, transport and storage Supercritical CO2 corrosion with impurities (H2O, SOx, NOx), localised/pitting assessment, fluid flow modelling. Autoclaves compatible with highly corrosive chemistries.
Solar and nuclear energy Corrosion in molten salts at ultra-high temperature; 500 – 1000 °C. Localised corrosion, creep deformation, Irradiation and high temperature induced inter-granular corrosion etc. Ultra-high temperature ovens for gravimetric analysis, crucibles.
Geothermal energy CO2/H2S corrosion, mineral scaling (carbonates, sulphates, sulphide, silica); corrosion and fluid flow numerical modelling, acidizing corrosion, erosion-corrosion. CO2/H2S facilities (static and dynamic autoclaves); tantalum autoclave for HTHP acid corrosion; mineral scaling facilities (tube-blocking, constant composition flow cells); inhibitor persistency/constant composition flow cells.
Wind and tidal power Flow induced and erosion-corrosion (in marine environments). Corrosion testing facilities (static and dynamic) for marine environments, integrated with electrochemistry.
Concrete technologies Corrosion in traditional and alkali-activated cementitious materials. Electrochemical cells and tomography facilities (in collaboration with Civil Engineering), including a wide range of facilities to measure the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of concrete.
Oil and gas CO2/H2S corrosion, mechanically-influenced corrosion, top-of-line/under-deposit/localised corrosion; corrosion and fluid flow numerical modelling, acidizing corrosion, mineral scaling (carbonates, sulphates, sulphide), 
corrosion inhibitor optimisation and evaluation, flow induced and erosion-corrosion.
CO2/H2S facilities (static cells, rotating cylinder electrodes, flow loops, autoclaves, jet impingement rigs); top of line and under-deposit test cells; tantalum autoclave for HTHP acid corrosion; mineral scaling facilities (tube-blocking, in-situ visualisation, in-situ raman/XRD flow cells, constant composition flow cells); inhibitor persistency/constant composition flow cells.

Corrosion Laboratory and Bespoke Rigs

CO2 corrosion laboratory

Including ‘bubble’ cells, rotating cylinder electrodes (RCEs), flow loops, submerged jet impingement rigs, as well as static and dynamic autoclaves, which can be instrumented for electrochemical corrosion and pH measurement.

H2S corrosion laboratory

A unique facility comprising of both low pressure/low temperature and high pressure/high temperature (10 bar/150oC) systems. These setups are also integrated for electrochemical corrosion/pH measurement, and the ability to dose fluids (inhibitor) into the system during operation.

Flow-induced corrosion and erosion-corrosion laboratory

Including rotating cylinder electrodes (RCEs), dynamic autoclaves, small scale and large scale thin channel flow cells for high velocity/shear testing and submerged jet impingement rigs for multiphase flow experiments. In addition, custom components and fittings (such as pipe bends and plugged tees) can be 3D printed and connected to the flow loop and integrated for in situ electro-chemical/acoustic emission measurements.

High temperature/high pressure ‘extreme condition’ laboratory

Consisting of static and dynamic autoclaves (hastelloy c-276 and tantalum lined vessels), integrated for electrochemical measurements with hastelloy and PEEK electrochemical reference probes. In addition, polymeric constant composition flow cells are available to study corrosion in matrix acidising environments.

In-situ and custom test cells

Over the last 10 years, we have worked with numerous industry collaborators to develop bespoke test cell for a variety of purposes. Example of the setups produced and available include:

  • In-situ abrasion rig to study effects of surface film de-passivation and growth, as well as galvanic interactions induced by surface films (in CO2 and H2S)
  • In-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy flow cells for studying surface film formation and transformation on corroding surfaces in aqueous environments
  • Top of the line corrosion test cell
  • Under deposit test cells for measurement of inhibitor transport and local chemistry under deposits.

Mineral Scaling Laboratory and Bespoke Rigs

Mineral Scaling Laboratory

There is a considerable interest to investigate surface crystallization in order to have a full mechanistic understanding of how layers of sparingly soluble salts (scale) build on component surfaces. The mineral scaling lab is equipped with rotating cylinder electrodes and bulk jar test cell to study scaling using the conventional methods. iFS have also developed a number of bespoke experimental flow rigs and associated methodologies to study mineral scale deposition.

Visualisation cell

The once-through visualisation flow rig allows us to follow mineral scale precipitation and surface deposition in situ and in real time. The rig enables us to assess the effects of various parameters such as brine chemistry and saturation ratio, temperature, flow rates, and scale inhibitor concentrations on scaling kinetics. We implement real-time image analysis procedures that enable the assessment of surface coverage, nucleation, and growth of the particles with time. The result for turbidity values measured in the flow cell can be maintained at zero throughout as the residence time from the mixing point to the sample is shorter than the induction time. The technique enables both precipitation and surface deposition of scale to be decoupled and be studied in real time and assessed under constant conditions.

Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance (Q-Sense E4)

An in-situ technique that allows film growth or dissolution to be monitored in real time. Variations of the total mass occurring at the material surface can be measured quantitatively by a shift in the resonance frequency of the EQCM. 

Capillary rig (adaptation of tube-blocking rig)

The capillary rig is an adaptation from the conventional dynamic tube blocking rig where the saturation ratio of the flowing fluid is maintained within the capillary cell as a result of the very short residence time of 0.03s. The capillary rig can be used to investigate the effectiveness of scale inhibitor in dynamic conditions. The set-up is equipped with a temperature-controlled device and a pressure transducer which is used to measure the pressure difference across the tube. Supersaturated solutions flow through the capillary, and as the scale builds up on the surface of the tube, the differential pressure between the inlet and outlet of the tube increases.