Magnetic internal corrosion detection sensor for exposed oil storage tanks

Ahmad Aljarah, Nader Vahdati, Haider Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Corrosion in the oil and gas industry represents one of the major problems that affect oil production and transportation processes. Several corrosion-inspection technologies are in the market to detect internal and external corrosion of oil storage tanks, but inspection of storage tanks occurs every 3 to 7 years. In between inspection interval, aggressive corrosion can potentially occur, which makes the oil and gas industry vulnerable to accidents. This study proposes a new internal corrosion detection sensor based on the magnetic interaction between a rare-earth permanent magnet and the ferromagnetic nature of steel, used to manufacture oil storage tanks. Finite element analysis (FEA) software was used to analyze the effect of various sensor parameters on the attractive force between the magnet and the steel. The corrosion detection sensor is designed based on the FEA results. The experimental testing of the sensor shows that it is capable of detecting internal metal loss due to corrosion in oil storage tanks within approximately 8 mm of the internal surface thickness. The sensor showed more than two-fold improvement in the detection range compared to previous sensor proposed by the authors. Furthermore, the sensor of this paper provides a monitoring rather than occasional inspection solution.

Original languageBritish English
Article number2457
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Corrosion detection sensor
  • Electromagnetic numerical analysis
  • FEA
  • Internal corrosion
  • Oil storage tanks


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