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8 November, 2019 - 13:21 By Tony Quested

Rust buster wins £1m for corrosion detection technology

A Cranfield University spin-out that has found a new way to detect corrosion and prevent leaks in assets such as pipelines has completed a £1 million funding round.

CorrosionRADAR has secured investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, alongside additional funds from Mercia and private investors, plus grants from the Government’s Innovate UK and the Oil and Gas Technology Centre.

The company, which has offices in Cranfield and Cambridge, addresses the challenge of how to detect corrosion in pipelines and other assets where the surface is covered by insulation. 

It uses a network of sensors placed on the pipe to continuously monitor its condition and detect problem areas, along with advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to predict where faults are likely to occur. 

The system allows facilities managers to focus their resources most effectively and helps prevent leaks.

The technology was developed by PhD student Prafull Sharma and Professor Hoi Yeung. They joined forces with fellow PhD student Mehrdad Silatani and experienced industrialist Chiraz Ennaceur to launch the company in 2017, with backing from Mercia and a grant from Innovate UK.

The system is already being used by large corporates such as Solvay, Sitech and Reliance Industries. This latest round of investment will allow the team to develop new hardware for the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries, while enhancing its predictive analytics and software, creating 10 new jobs for sales and marketing staff.

The annual global cost of corrosion is estimated at over £2 trillion by the worldwide corrosion authority NACE.

Dr Chiraz Ennaceur, CEO at CorrosionRADAR, said: “Corrosion is the biggest failure mechanism in the world, with a huge cost to industry. Our vision is to transform corrosion management through smart digital solutions and help pipeline owners and operators to have a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly operation.”

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