Opens up access to the Field Kelvin Probe Test Lab

Christian Michelsen Research recently opened a laboratory facility to assist pioneering work on the Field Kelvin Probe (FKP). Now you can order access to this facility for analysis of samples.


Opens up access to the Field Kelvin Probe Test Lab

The laboratory facility for the Field Kelvin Probe (FKP) at Christian Michelsen Research, Department of Smart Sensors and Monitoring Systems. Bench on the Right – Two FKPs mounted on motorised stage for scanning flat (left hand side) and rounded test samples (such as pipes; visible on the right). Bench on the right-hand-side: SKP + RHC. Photo: Gunn Janne Myrseth, CMR

The Field Kelvin Probe (FKP) developed by CMR, is a promising technology with the ability to detect hidden corrosion at earliest stages.  The FKP is expected to detect corrosion, for example on offshore oil and gas installations with no shutdown time. The technology is now mature enough for  measurements to be made in the field. This lowers inspection cost while increasing operation safety.

The FKP technology resembles the traditional Scanning Kelvin Probe (SKP) as it derives the electrode potential of a test object from the Volta potential difference established between the test object and the reference material of the Kelvin probe. However, the FKP has distinct features that makes possible field deployment and measurements, such as:

  • Work distance up to 20 mm, enabling corrosion detection through high-build coatings and rough surfaces.
  • Self-calibration to ensure reliable readings over extended operation time.

At this stage the lab comprises a state-of-the-art Scanning Kelvin Probe (SKP) equipped with an environmental chamber (both from KP Technology) and several Field Kelvin Probes (FKP). Electrochemical (Ivium potentiostats/galvanostat with flat cell for lab and field) and metallographic sample preparation equipment allow us to manufacture high quality test samples for SKP/FKP testing and corrosion measurements.

The FKP/SKP laboratory will primarily serve the further development of the FKP for other applications such as for quality control of metallic and semiconductor materials. Special attention will be given to the completion and preparations for field deployment of the hand-held version of the FKP.

The FKP research and development is currently financed by two parallel research projects:

  1. Norwegian Research Council via Petromaks2 program (project 245349/E30)
  2. Statoil / Gassco which are interested in an instrument for the detection of internal corrosion on offshore pressure vessels.