Fiber Optic Monitoring for CUI at BASF

Project introduction

  • Scope: Scope: Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) detection on a pipeline
  • Client: BASF
  • Location: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Duration: 2021 - present 

Project context

BASF is the largest multinational chemical group worldwide. They opted to test the Fluves CORROSION system as a proof-of-concept on a length of 300m on an MDI pipeline situated at the BASF Antwerp plant, which had been recently inspected and is prone to Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI). This would allow for a decent comparison between their current inspection method and Fluves CORROSION. 

In 2023, BASF Antwerp opted to install the Fluves CORROSION system permanently on a length of 3000m of Aniline pipeline, which was recently rolled out.

Proof of concept

The measurements started in August 2021until December 2022. Fluves CORROSION, based on fiber optic technology, detected several potential corrosion spots along the pipeline. In some locations, the system determined that the risk of corrosion was small and in others, there was a significant risk of pipeline corrosion. It was remarkable that in the areas at high risk of corrosion, there were no visible holes, dents or other abnormalities on the outside cladding.

In April 2022, a team from BASF uncovered and inspected the locations that were identified by Fluves CORROSION in detail. At all identified points the risk at corrosion level matched perfectly with our predictions. Also, the spatial coverage (one meter accuracy) as forecasted by our corrosion monitoring system matched 100% the reality, so the locations were pinpointed very accurately. 

Permanent corrosion monitoring system

Since its inception in 2023, the permanent monitoring system on the Aniline pipeline has remained operational, showcasing its effectiveness. Assessments have unveiled various potential corrosion spots along the extensive 3000m pipeline at BASF Antwerp.  As Fluves CORROSION takes its place permanently, it marks a significant stride in elevating pipeline integrity. This strategic integration is poised to set new standards for corrosion monitoring, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of critical assets.

“CUI-CONTROL, powered by Fluves, is able to find the exact locations of potential corrosion sites. The system is able to measure the degree of corrosion risk with great precision. Their system has the added advantage that it can be applied on the outer layer of the jacketing, without having to dismantle anything”

— Robin Guldentops - Asset Manager ESP/IL at BASF

More information

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Fiber Optic Monitoring for CUI at BASF
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