CTC develops a methodology for real-time status monitoring of offshore marine structures

The CTC Technology Centre has developed an innovative methodology to monitor in real-time the condition of offshore structures installed in aggressive marine environments. This is the MANTEMAR project’s way of optimising the maintenance of metal structures and components.

The novel methodology developed by CTC is based on electrochemical techniques. These analysis techniques are applied to samples taken from offshore structures already installed offshore and provide information on the condition of the coatings of offshore components, their level of degradation and their remaining service life. This information makes interventions easier and is crucial to alleviate the costs associated with corrosion.

Test specimens of concrete and various bare and coated steels for tests

In this way, the project responds innovatively to one of the most important challenges that any industry operating in the maritime sector has to face. According to NACE International, the world’s leading authority in this field, corrosion causes economic losses amounting to 3% of the world’s GDP and ranging from 2.2 to 2.5 trillion dollars annually. It is a problem that destroys 25% of the steel produced in the world every year at 5 tonnes every few seconds.

The reliability of this innovative methodology has been tested and verified at the Marine Corrosion Test Site (MCTS ‘El Bocal’), where CTC has installed test specimens and analysed the field data obtained during the tests. This study infrastructure, developed jointly with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, offers three test conditions (submerged, tidal or splashing) in an open sea area. This aspect has conferred the results a high degree of replicability of the conditions with an identical environment to the one supported by the offshore structures.

Installation of metal test tubes in the tidal zone at MCTS El Bocal

In this sense, one of the project’s biggest challenges has been to combine the characterisation of materials in an environment similar to the aggressive marine environment in which offshore structures are found with a monitoring system capable of providing real-time data. The development and verification of this new methodology reinforce the position of the CTC Technology Centre as a benchmark player in fields such as structural monitoring and anti-corrosion solutions.

The MANTEMAR project has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the ERDF Operational Programme 2014-2020 of Cantabria through the INNOVA 2019 grant line.