In any kind of industry where water meets steel, corrosion is an underestimated threat - and a very expensive one too: corrosion costs for the European region alone amount to €500bn (DNV-GL report). The impact of corrosion is even greater for specific economic sectors. According to the European NeSSIE project, 18% of the technical operational expenditure (OPEX) of offshore energy production is due to corrosion. For ports, even 19.9% of their turnover would be spent on corrosion prevention and maintenance. In addition, one third of all those costs can be avoided by a smarter, more efficient system to manage the corrosion problem. However, there is no generally accepted approach which is followed in the industry to assess the risk of corrosion and use this for smart corrosion management. Creating such a Smart Corrosion Management system is the goal of the recently started SOCORRO project in which OWI-partner Sirris is one of the key partners.

The project’s objective is to provide companies with an independent tool to assess the accumulated corrosion risk to which their assets are exposed. This will increase awareness about the corrosion problem and allow companies to take targeted preventive or maintenance actions. The tool will initially be developed for bare steel submerged in water. It is however expected that it will be possible to expand the applied method to other corrosion types like atmospheric and splash zone corrosion.
A fast in situ sensor system will be created to monitor a range of water parameters (environmental markers). However, the sensor problem is not the only thing the industry is struggling with, when it comes to corrosion. The SOCORRO project therefore wants to process sensor measurements with an innovative software package that allows to assess the environment in which corrosion occurs and calculate a corrosion risk from it. Finally, the developed measurement and management system will display the corrosion risk accumulated over time with a "traffic light" type colour code (green, yellow,  red), which will be integrated in a decision support tool.

The complete SOCORRO application will be implemented and demonstrated in 11 industrial case studies at early adopters, acting as project partners or members of the advisory board (foundations of offshore wind turbines, water desalination/sanitation, ship’s hulls and ballast tanks, harbour sheet piles, process water). This will allow to assess and optimise the industrial applicability of the SOCORRO system, as well as perform a study of the expected economic benefits. OWI-Lab will facilitate and monitor the offshore wind case study.

The project partners gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the European Interreg 2Seas programme.

More information about the project can be found on the project website If you’re interested to contributing to the demonstration cases, have data to be analysed or would like to start using the SOCORRO application, you can contact the author of this article or send an inquiry through the contact form on the website.