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Electrochemistry

Corrosion and environment induced cracking

Providing world-leading expertise in measurement techniques, test methods and electrochemical modelling

We characterise localised corrosion and cracking processes and support a range of industrial applications, giving confidence that new structures and designs will withstand their environment. Our National Corrosion Service provides advanced testing facilities and expert advice, as well as guidance publications and protocols.

The difficulty of detecting local failures due to corrosion and cracking, together with the occasionally catastrophic nature of the failure process, continue to challenge efforts towards improved structural safety, sustainability, and design life. New trends in industries – such as oil and gas, nuclear, and power generation towards operation under increasingly aggressive conditions and in the presence of varying service conditions (stress, chemical environment, temperature) – create further uncertainty in life prediction and material selection.

We have been at the vanguard of development of advanced techniques to characterise the different stages of corrosion damage development and to quantify the impact of service transients on the nature and rate of development of the corrosion damage process.

Some highlights of our recent research for the oil and gas sector include:

Our research for the power industry has led to:

Our continuing work addresses urgent challenges in corrosion prediction and prevention:

  • Corrosion testing in sour environments at realistic, extreme pressure and temperature (up to 1100 bar at 250 °C) for oil and gas extraction from deep wells
  • Corrosion assurance of additively manufactured materials in aggressive environments
  • Assessing the likelihood of atmospheric stress corrosion cracking of nuclear waste containment materials

The direction of our research is guided by Industrial Advisory Groups in oil and gas and power generation, who ensure that our work addresses problems of principal relevance to current and future industry needs.

Find out more about NPL's Corrosion testing services

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Lead researcher

Alan Turnbull

Senior NPL Fellow

Alan‘s current research is focused principally on modelling and measurement of environmentally assisted cracking of metal and alloys, particularly the early stages of crack development, in a range of engineering applications including power generation, nuclear waste containment, oil and gas production, and additive manufacturing.

View Alan Turnbull

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Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070