Publication

3D X-ray tomographic analysis of the nature and morphology of corrosion scales formed on X65 as a function of environment

Authors: Rafael Leiva-garcia (University of Manchester) , Adam Anders (University of Manchester) , Tony Cook (University of Manchester) , Grace Burke (University of Manchester) , Chris Muryn (University of Manchester) , Mary Ryan (Imperial College London) , Malte Storm (Diamond Light Source) , Silvia Vargas (BP) , Philip Withers (University of Manchester) , Brian Connolly (University of Birmingham) , James Carr (University of Manchester) , Sheetal Handa (BP)
Co-authored by industrial partner: Yes

Type: Conference Paper
Conference: Eurocorr 2019
Peer Reviewed: Yes

State: Published (Approved)
Published: September 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 21142

Abstract: Thick corrosion scales form within carbon steel oilfield pipelines in sweet (CO2 saturated) environments. The morphology and the extent of the resultant pseudo-protective nature of these scales has been seen to be dependent on multiple factors including solution pH, temperature, flow rate, and partial pressure of CO2 present. Different techniques (SEM, XRD, FIB, etc.) have been used in the past to characterise these corrosion scales. However, limitations in these techniques occur due to the fact that only small regions of the scale can be characterised in a feasible time. Further limitations may result in difficulty to relate local scale features with corrosion morphology on the evolving metal surface (i.e. localised corrosion) as the morphology of the substrate surface can only be characterised once the scale is removed. The aim of this work is to address this issue through the use of high resolution x-ray absorption tomography to characterise the internal morphology of the corrosion scales from ex situ specimens exposed to CO2 environments as a function of pH and temperature. X-65 pipeline steel, high purity 99.99 Fe and low purity 99.0 Fe pins were used in these experiments. Specimens were exposed to CO2saturated solutions using two different methods, notably open circuit potential (OCP) immersion for 7-12 days and electrochemical polarisation for two hours at 200 mV(vs OCP). After the scaling experiments, samples were characterised using XRD and SEM. X-ray tomography was subsequently performed at the University of Manchester X-ray Imaging Facilities to characterise the corrosion morphology. Transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM) was used in absorption mode and phase contrast mode to obtain three dimensional reconstructions of the specimens, where the different features of the scale and the internal corroded substrate were imaged and characterised simultaneously. Results indicate differences in the morphology of the corrosion scale depending on the method that was used to corrode the samples. As a consequence of the supersaturation in Fe2+, polarised samples present a thicker scale than the scales obtained by immersion at OCP conditions. The polarisation process also produces a less uniform corroded substrate than when the sample is immersed for 7 days at open circuit in the corroding environments used. In this work high resolution X-ray tomography has been proven to be a very powerful technique to study the scale morphology as well as the features of localised corrosion occurring under scale in the substrate.

Subject Areas: Materials, Engineering, Chemistry
Collaborations: Diamond Manchester

Instruments: I13-2-Diamond Manchester Imaging