Kent researchers to participate in €5.45m corrosion study

Kent’s role is of vital importance to sharing the insights of the project

The University of Kent is participating in a unique European research collaboration to provide companies with an independent means to assess the corrosion risks in their installations, to increase their awareness, and to have them take appropriate preventive actions.

The University’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts and Unit for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching will be working with Antwerp Maritime Academy (HZS), 13 other UK and European universities and 32 business partners as part of the project “SOCORRO: Seeking out corrosion – before it is too late”. The project has been awarded €3.3 million, 60% of the total funding, from the Interreg 2 Seas – European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The aim of SOCORRO is to create a rapid, in situ sensor system capable of monitoring a range of environmental markers over time to determine the risk of corrosion of steel submerged in water, as well as a statistical method to mine these data for an overall corrosion risk estimate.

Steel corrosion in water has a damaging cost of more than €500 billion annually for the European region alone, affecting structures close to or within water, including buildings, boats, bridges and piers.

The University of Kent will be leading on the communications area for the project, focussing on increasing awareness of corrosion and the risks is poses. Their work will include the provision of a video documentary, a touring exhibition featuring interactive media, and training materials to enable companies and the wider population to understand the environmental factors affecting corrosion and what actions to take to prevent it.

Kent’s participation is being led by Dr Rocio von Jungenfeld, along with colleagues Dr Alexandra Covaci, Dr Mike Green and Mark O’Connor.

Dr Mike Green of the University’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts said: ‘This work is of vital importance to the whole project, as it will disseminate insights and findings from the project to a range of target audiences including technology suppliers, academia, businesses, and the public.’