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Patent pending: The CUPID Consortium have applied for Foreground IP protection in the form of a UK patent application: GB 1413566.9.

CUPID Project

Innovative Non-Destructive Corrosion Under Paint Integrated Detection System

Project Description

CUP (Corrosion Under Paint) is a ubiquitous and persistent problem which affects almost every part of the entire infrastructure of modern civilization.  Apart from the great economic damage which it causes annually, it also compromises the safety, environmental and aesthetic characteristics of the affected structures, machinery and other artefacts.  Metals in their natural state exist as the various oxides that form ores and it is only with the application of large amounts of energy to process, refine and form them, that they are converted into useful industrial artefacts.  However, it is thermodynamically inevitable that metals in such an activated state will always return to the energetically lower state of being oxides.

A CUP detection system would offer an immediate market advantage and SME participants currently active in the CUP NDT sector shall be able to both negotiate favorable licensing terms and also be able to control and direct product development in line with their specific commercial requirements.  Such a step-change in corrosion management technology would also instigate great socioeconomic advantage to European society and European business in general.

Project Objective

The project aims to deliver three novel, fully developed and complementary NDT Techniques.  These techniques, both individually and in combination, represent a truly disruptive technology: they are completely non-contact and can instantly detect CUP under very large areas of painted surfaces from stand-off distances of up to ten metres or more.  The three specific innovative techniques involved are:

  • The use of passive millimetre waves, preferentially originating from ambient background illumination, for the standoff detection of CUP;
  • The use of Near Infra-Red (NIR) techniques to detect CUP and to also work synergistically with the millimetre wave scanner to produce an integrated hyper-spectral image of CUP;
  • The use of front-sided capacitance imaging (CI) which can detect corrosion, metal loss and other deformations under coated surfaces - even on underwater painted surfaces and surface damage under coatings on composites.

All three components are capable of being integrated into a single instrument which is controlled by automatic corrosion detection software configured to take measurements from all three techniques if required, in order to maximise detection confidence and reliability.

It is also possible for each of these three modules to be operated separately but have the capacity to be easily interlinked in embodiments combining one, two, or all three of each of the individual sub-systems of the CUPID technology. This approach offers an extremely flexible and highly customised corrosion management system for the end-user and also offers considerable commercial advantages by reducing production cost and increasing overall marketability across many industrial sectors.

Please visit the New & Events page and the Dissemination News page for further details.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 606438

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