CUI (corrosion under insulation) is among the key concerns for the integrity of process equipment and pipelines. Various measures to detect and fix the damages from CUI pose significant maintenance expenditures in hydrocarbons processing facilities. The key reason behind CUI is the limitation of thermal insulations to absorb the moisture and soak the underneath metal from wicking action. Other than CUI, trapped moisture in the soaked thermal insulations causes heat loss from process systems, thereby posing the risk of additional damage mechanisms and increased operating expenditures. This study addresses the impact of robust drain openings and insulation stand-offs on the CUI rate of carbon steel under four different testing conditions namely isothermal wet, isothermal wet-dry, cyclic wet, and cyclic wet-dry, respectively. Corroded specimens were further characterized using surface topography and scanning electron microscope. The impacts of temperature and moisture cycling on the corrosion attributes were also characterized using the linear polarization resistance method followed by an investigation of corrosion modes via optical microscopy. Insulation stand-offs in conjunction with robust drain opening resulted in the lowest corrosion rate. With insulation stand-offs and drain openings, the cyclic temperature conditions caused higher metal loss than that in isothermal conditions.

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