In an economic context where corrosion alone represents between 2.5 and 4.5% of the world’s GDP, GRTgaz was looking for a partner capable of providing an innovative operational response to combat corrosion on the overhead pipes in its network.
GRTgaz’s problem: facilitate corrosion detection
Defects in pipelines, such as corrosion, are currently detected by careful inspection by GRTgaz staff in the field. Although most of the pipelines are buried, the system also has overhead pipelines, which are coated with an anti-corrosion paint system.
Through its call for “Open Innovation Factory” projects, GRTgaz set out its objectives:
- Improve inspection and corrosion management of overhead pipes
- Reduce the frequency of inspections, excavations and possible maintenance operations
- Find and/or develop intelligent coatings
Introduce smart particles into anti-corrosion paint
“This type of coating did not yet exist! We used our unique expertise to identify a technical solution that would detect the first signs of corrosion. Our research work was carried out in stages: identifying one or more technologies, adapting them to the sensitivity thresholds desired by GRTGaz, then integrating the technology into a paint. Once the feasibility has been validated, industrialisation will follow in order to scale up, as well as tests on pilot sites and quality certification,” says Jean-François Létard, director of OliKrom.
Why did you select this company?
Ahmed Fakhry (research engineer, Pipeline department, RICE): “In front of our jury of experts, OliKrom convinced us by its clarity and the relevance of its proposals. They are experts in the field of intelligent pigments and we were looking for a solution capable of changing colour when corrosion occurs. This solution, also because of its innovative aspect, seemed to us to be the most suitable, although it is still a concept. OliKrom also has considerable experience in this field.
What will this solution bring to GRTgaz?
Ahmed Fakhry: “It will allow operators to see, thanks to changes in colour or luminescence, the beginning of corrosion on overhead structures. In addition, some structures are very difficult to access, so this solution will be an innovation in the field of inspection. This will reduce the costs associated with the repair and rehabilitation of pipes.