Corrosion Under Insulation: Inspect to Protect
Friday, December 14, 2018

Corrosion Under Insulation: Inspect to Protect

With colder weather upon us, increased humidity, rain and condensation can wreak havoc on insulation and leave your pipes vulnerable to Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI). CUI is one of the most detrimental and pervasive issues in the process industry, and when left undetected can lead to pipe failures, safety issues, as well as costly side effects. Learn more about CUI and how you can catch it early below.

What Causes CUI?

Corrosion under insulation occurs when any form of moisture or condensation manages to breach the barrier of your insulation and make contact with the pipe itself. Because the pipe is obscured from view beneath the insulation, it can be hard to know where moisture is seeping in, giving it ample time to sit and corrode. Areas that are at high risk for the occurrence of CUI include:

  • Hot or humid environments
  • Climates prone to sudden weather shifts
  • Areas with heavy snow or rainfall
  • Job sites in marine environment
  • Any atmosphere that encourages sweating or contains chloride and sulphide.

Once CUI begins to set in, it can spread relatively quickly depending on your environment, the source of the moisture, the temperature and availability of oxygen.

Detection is Your Best Defence

As we mentioned above, part of what makes CUI so dangerous is how difficult it can be to spot. Unlike cracks or holes, a cursory visual inspection is likely to miss any damage, giving the corrosion a chance to worsen until an inevitable failure happens. Unfortunately, by the time this happens, the results are usually quite severe, and can cause millions of dollars worth of damage, injury or death. So, how do you prevent such mishaps?

Inspect to Protect

Diligent pipeline inspection with the correct tools is your best bet to detect CUI and allow proactive repairs to be made before failures happen. Russell NDE has created the Bracelet Probe, that is now relied upon by industry leaders like Enbridge to safely and efficiently identify CUI with reliability and accuracy.

More About the Russell NDE Bracelet Probe


The Russell NDE Bracelet Probe (BP) is adaptable to any insulated pipe size starting at 4” and contains sensitive detectors that cover a 10” wide scan path. The probe scans at a rate of up to 12'/min on both horizontal and vertical pipes. The BP data is fed real-time to a computer that displays and records the underlying condition of the pipe. This data can then be saved as 3D color-maps, strip charts and voltage planes which are used to size and the CUI.

Receiving your results is fast, dependable, and allows your team to swiftly deal with any damage before its too late. Learn more about stopping CUI in its tracks by contacting Russell NDE today.