Worlds first in corrosion monitoring – Collaboration between CDP and Ion Science creates breakthrough in industrial sensing

27 June 2018 – A world first in corrosion monitoring has been created from a collaboration between technology and product design firm Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) and gas detection specialist Ion Science. The new patented Hydrosteel 6500 all-temperature probe is the world’s first for multipoint hydrogen flux corrosion monitoring in extreme environments – providing easy, reliable, direct evidence of corrosion inside steel pipes in near-real time for months on end.

Corrosion of equipment costs the oil and gas production industry more than $1.3 billion a year, according to the worldwide corrosion authority NACE International. The higher levels of hydrogen sulphide in so-called ‘sour’ oil and gas increase the risk of corrosion and can lead to lost production as well as damaging infrastructure. Constant monitoring is crucial to safeguard assets and operations.

The Hydrosteel 6500 is a new generation of Ion Science’s market-leading Hydrosteel range of instruments which use probes to collect and monitor hydrogen flux through steel in petrochemical refineries and gas production operations. Flux measurement provides direct evidence of corrosion in near-real time – and gives an indication of the risk of hydrogen-induced cracking caused by such corrosion. Unlike devices which measure decreases in the thickness of a steel pipe, the Hydrosteel range can capture even tiny changes – and it indicates corrosion of the actual pipe that is in use, not simply a steel specimen.

“With the Hydrosteel 6500, Ion Science is bringing an incredible piece of diagnostic technology to the industrial market,” said CDP partner Matt Brady. “The range of pipe diameters, temperatures and deployment scenarios which the probe must support – along with the necessary slenderness of the ion collector itself – represented unique design challenges. Working together with the Ion Science team, we have increased the robustness, usability, application consistency and longevity of this critical system component.”

The Hydrosteel probe uses magnets to closely attach a flexible metal collector plate to a pipe or container. Air is drawn between the underside of the plate and the adjoining steel surface – capturing hydrogen flux exiting the steel. The sample stream is then passed over a proprietary hydrogen sensor in the device – and the hydrogen flux is calculated and displayed. The new probe design includes modular stainless steel articulating segments that can withstand high temperatures and fit securely yet are easy to install and remove. Four separate sample lines help identify corrosion trends – and the battery-operated device can monitor equipment for several months before needing to be recharged.

Frank Dean, director of innovation at Ion Science, said: “We have been designing and developing sensors and instrumentation for the gas detection industry for more than 25 years. This was a difficult project but CDP’s structured approach to innovation and collaborative way of working enabled us to address the complex design requirements. As a result, we have a world-class corrosion monitoring probe.”

Notes for editors
Cambridge Design Partnership is a technology and product design partner focused on helping clients grow their businesses. Some of the world’s largest companies trust CDP to develop their most important innovations. Located in both Cambridge (UK) and in Palo Alto, California (US), CDP specialises in the consumer products, healthcare, energy and industrial equipment markets. Its multidisciplinary staff have the expert knowledge to identify opportunities and tackle the challenges its clients face. For more information, visit:

Ion Science has more than 25 years’ experience of designing, manufacturing and supplying gas sensors and detection instruments for a wide range of industries and applications. Its sensor technology and instrumentation is manufactured in-house at its UK plant and distributed worldwide via a global network of distributors. Ion Science is the world’s largest manufacturer of photoionisation detection (PID) technology. Its PID sensor is found within most PID instrumentation available today for the detection of volatile organic compounds. For more information, visit:

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