Seeking out corrosion - before it is too late | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Seeking out corrosion - before it is too late

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Technological Innovation

Lead partner

Antwerp Maritime Academy (AMA)


Date de début


Date de fin


Project budget

5 449 829

ERDF amount

3 269 898

ERDF rate


    À propos

    Common challenge

    An often underestimated threat to our economy is steel corrosion, in any kind of industry where water meets steel: the maritime sector, ports, water purification plants, energy production, offshore renewable energy production. The costs pertaining to corrosion are immense: a DNV-GL report sets all-round corrosion costs at more than 500 billion EUR for the European region alone, generally +/- 3.8% of the European GDP. However consultation with industry indicates there is no general approach to determining where and when corrosion is taking place so that preventative and remedial works can be targeted. Solutions are generic, and there is no overall awareness of possible cost reductions: 25-30% of the corrosion-related costs are superfluous – the baseline for the project. The missing step to achieve this is a comprehensive, quick and easy method to measure the local situation in a range of installations and an increased general awareness that costs can be reduced even further.

    Main Achievements

    Corroding steel costs us money, all over the world, and especially in industries and constructions dealing with water.: 3.9% of all the economic value we create in a year rusts away while we are standing by, and in the maritime industry (ships and ports) we are faced with a daunting 19% of its value. By offering companies to think about the ways they measure and manage corrosion, the SOCORRO projects wants to lower these costs while still maintaining the highest levels of protection of these installations and constructions.

    In the first part of the project, we are working on creating a data algorithm to predict the risk that a piece of steel, submerged in industrial water or seawater, will start to corrode. we do this by measuring a number of physical and chemical characteristics of the water (like oxygen content, acidity or temperature) and by analysing the amount of bacterial slime layers on the steel. The corona crisis has made it difficult to organise proper test tanks in our labs (not in the least because we were not able to have frequent short meetings with all the involved scientists and engineers), but the first results are looking promising by now.

    In the second phase of the project, we will apply our method in a series of different industrial surroundings, from a ballast tank in a ship and a water sanitation system on a farm to the longest Pleasure Peer in the world, in Southend-on-Sea. We are at the moment creating the devices which will be installed in the spring and the summer of 2021 on all these industrial locations. This will make it possible to achieve the largest comparison of corrosion risks and rates across industrial sectors ever, helping us to understand why some steel structures corrode faster than others, and to deal with the corrosion problem in an informed way, on the basis of measurements and economic forecasts.


    Within SOCORRO, we've developed a method using AI to calculate a corrosion threat or risk based on measured environmental parameters. We currently focus on uniform corrosion of submerged, unprotected steel.



    Ghent University

    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

    Southend Borough Council


    University of Brighton

    Genicap Beheer BV

    University of Kent

    Cobalt Water EU BVBA

    Université d'Artois

    Université de Lille

    OnderzoeksCentrum voor de Aanwending van Staal

    Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France

    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique