The University of Newcastle, Australia

Prediction of marine corrosion and structural deterioration of steel and aluminium civil and defence assets

The Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability deals with practical aspects of marine and related corrosion, and with mathematical models based on physico-chemical bases to predict likely corrosion both short and long-term, including the possibility of microbiological influences.

Competitive advantage

  • No other research group in Australia deals with practical aspects of marine and related corrosion, and with mathematical models based on physico-chemical bases to predict likely corrosion both short and long-term, including the possibility of microbiological influences
  • We believe that we have no serious international competitors

Successful applications of research

  • Recently completed a commissioned report for NAVAL Group (Attack class submarine contractors) on corrosivity and biofouling conditions around the Australian coastline and in Australian harbours. Selected by direct invitation
  • International consultants for a 4-year project on the corrosion of mooring chains and wire rope for FPSOs for the oil and gas industry, funded by the ‘Oil Majors’ and most Classification Societies. Again selected by invitation
  • Advising a Belgian research consortium for dealing with World War 1 ammunition and war surplus equipment dumped off the Belgian coast in an area intended for expanded harbour facilities. Again by invitation
  • Working with DST and private enterprise on deterioration of defence vessels and maritime platforms under operational conditions (Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project)
  • Researching the effect of sands and other particulate media on marine corrosion of steels including the effect of microbiologically influenced corrosion (ARC Discovery Project)
  • Researching the internal corrosion of offshore wind farm tower structures after European operators found very high corrosion and were unable to explain it (ARC Discovery Project)

Partners

  • Defence Science and Technology (DST)

Impact

  • In all cases the aim is to extend the lives of existing civil and defence assets through improved ability to assess their likely future condition, and to assess the impact of intervention strategies

Capabilities and facilities

  • Concept, design, construction and operation and management of corrosion tests in a variety of test conditions
  • High level analytical skills for interpretation of results and for building theoretical and prediction models
  • High level of capability to interact with industry
  • Dedicated field test facility at Taylors Beach for marine corrosion testing, in-situ and with microbiological conditions
  • Marine corrosion test sites at Port of Newcastle and in Darwin
  • Salt-spray and Ultraviolet (UV) test chambers
  • SEM/EDS, XRD facilities, dedicated laboratory and workshop

More information

Professor Robert Melchers

Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability

T: +61 2 4921 6044

E: rob.melchers@newcastle.edu.au


Additional capabilities