Corrosion Detection Under Coatings

NCMS Project #: 140919

Problem: Protective coatings play an important role in reducing costs associated with corrosion and mil-spec qualified solutions continue to be developed with improved performance and reduced environmental impact. However, even the best coating systems will eventually fail in the harsh environments the assets are required to work in. Accordingly, the best method of reducing costs and down-time is to identify corrosion processes as early as possible so as to mitigate the extent of remedial steps required and to prevent catastrophic failure of asset components.

Benefit: The work has significant benefit to the general public as the coating systems and NDE techniques are broadly applicable to systems employed in civilian infrastructure applications such as bridges, building architectures, pipelines, chemical processing plants and oil/gas exploration. Coatings have come a long way in retarding corrosion, but that lasts only as long as the coating’s integrity is maintained. Having a method to detect potential coating failure mitigates the expense of corrosion and possible catastrophic failures. When machinery, structures, vehicles, and other high-asset equipment are free of corrosion they are safer and last longer.

Solution/Approach: A wide variety of NDE techniques have been under investigation in recent years, each with unique strengths and applications. Broadly, these techniques may be categorized as electromagnetic or ultrasound-based technologies but the initiative will also investigate thermography and optical methods for NDE. The project will identify current and emerging technologies employed in NDE of coated surfaces, benchmark their performance with respect to detection limits and resolution, and evaluate one or more techniques in field and/or laboratory environments. A further objective will be to determine coating formulation techniques which can enhance the sensitivity or resolution of one or more of these technologies.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduced maintenance
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved safety
  • Warfighter readiness and sustainability

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army TARDEC
  • U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Industry Participation:

  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Costs savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Improved readiness
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement

Final Report