The lifetime of a metallic structure is to very high extent determined by its corrosion resistance. Structures are traditionally protected by organic coatings, which protect the metal as long as the coating?s integrity is not compromised. Although a multitude of inspection tools are available today, assessment of the quality of metal under large coated areas is still problematic.
NORCE and its subsidiary Indikel has recently developed the Field Kelvin Probe (FKP), a non-contact technology to fill the technology gap described above. In controlled laboratory and field tests, the FKP proved to effectively detect and differentiate the very beginning of corrosion, as well as ongoing and old corrosion. For example, the FKP uncovered corrosion on ships, Oil & Gas pressure vessels, and automobiles.
Given the diversity of industrial applications of metals, the FKP will require specific adaptation to perform at maximum capacity in each application.
In this project we have addressed the specific requirements for the application of the FKP for coated metal structures. To fully understand the market's requirements of the FKP, we have interviewed companies from several industries, including maritime, oil & gas, automotive, paint manufacturers and service companies. In addition, we have conducted similar interviews with academia and technical institutions for which coating and corrosion research are key activities.
Based on an analysis of the interviews, we have adjusted the business plan for the further development of the FKP for commercial use.
The project has showed that the application of the FKP technology is relevant for detection of corrosion, and that this has the lowest acceptance threshold of the possible applications of the FKP technology. The project confirms the relevance of the core technology and the value of the early demonstrator FKP instrument currently available. At the same time, the current early demonstrator FKP needs further development to be directly applicable for many industry applications. This project has clarified which features to prioritize in the further development of the FKP.