Corrosion under insulation (CUI) refers to the external corrosion of piping and vessels that occurs underneath externally clad/jacketed insulation as a result of the penetration of water. By its very nature CUI tends to remain undetected until the insulation and cladding/jacketing is removed to allow inspection or when leaks occur. CUI is a common problem shared by the refining, petrochemical, power, industrial, onshore and offshore industries.
The European Federation of Corrosion (EFC) Working Parties WP13 and WP15 have worked to provide guidelines on managing CUI together with a number of major European refining, petrochemical and offshore companies including BP, Chevron-Texaco, Conoco-Phillips, ENI, Exxon-Mobil, IFP, MOL, Scanraff, Statoil, Shell, Total and Borealis. The guidelines within this document are intended for use on all plants and installations that contain insulated vessels, piping and equipment. The guidelines cover a risk-based inspection methodology for CUI, inspection techniques (including non-destructive evaluation methods) and recommended best practice for mitigating CUI, including design of plant and equipment, coatings and the use of thermal spray techniques, types of insulation, cladding/jacketing materials and protection guards. The guidelines also include case studies.