SOCORRO – Seeking Out Corrosion, before it is too late

An often underestimated threat to our economy is steel corrosion, in any kind of industry where water meets steel: the maritime sector, ports, water purification plants, energy production, offshore renewable energy production.

Number of partners: 15
Number of observing partners: 32
Coordinator: Antwerp Maritime Academy (AMA)
Duration: 01/03/2020 – 30/09/2022
Budget: 5 449 833 €


OCAS contact
Name: Krista Van den Bergh
Department: Surfaces
Phone number: +32 (0) 477026018


Hogere Zeevaartschool
Ghent University
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Southend Borough Council
IT and Business Analytics
University of Brighton
Genicap Beheer BV
University of Kent
Cobalt Water EU BVBA
Université d’Artois
Université de Lille
Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

The costs pertaining to corrosion are immense: a DNV-GL report sets all-round corrosion costs at more than 500 billion EUR for the European region alone, generally +/- 3.8% of the European GDP. However, consultation with industry indicates there is no general approach to determining where and when corrosion is taking place so that preventative and remedial works can be targeted. Solutions are generic, and there is no overall awareness of possible cost reductions: 25-30% of the corrosion-related costs are superfluous – the baseline for the project. The missing step to achieve this is a comprehensive, quick and easy method to measure the local situation in a range of installations and an increased general awareness that costs can be reduced even further.


This project aims to provide companies with an independent means to assess the corrosion risks in their installations, to increase their awareness and to have them take appropriate preventive actions. To this end, we created a simple, rapid, in situ sensor system able to monitor a range of environmental markers over time to determine the risk of corrosion of steel submerged in water, as well as a statistical method to mine these data for an overall corrosion risk estimate – in short, the SOCORRO system, set at TRL 4.
In this project, we will implement and demonstrate this whole set-up in several industrial case studies (wind turbines at sea, water desalination/sanitation, ship’s hulls and ballast tanks, harbour sheet piles, process water) and show the economic opportunities. In addition, we will augment the statistical analysis with an intuitive, practical dashboard tool to present the outflow of information and to convey that risk to the end users. This will raise the TRL to 6 or 7.

  • Development of an algorithm to predict corrosion risks based on water quality parameters
  • Data gathering and demonstration of the SOCORRO approach at 11 sites
  • Create more awareness and knowledge on the risks and consequences of corrosion with professionals and the public


Role of OCAS

Within this project, OCAS will carry out corrosion testing by accelerated corrosion tests and real outdoor exposure. Together with its sister company Endures, OCAS will built a corrosion demonstrator in the harbour of Den Helder. 

Dutch summary

Corrosie is een vaak onderschatte bedreiging voor onze economie, in iedere tak van industrie waar water in contact komt met staal: de maritieme sector, havens, waterzuiveringsinstallaties, offshore productie va hernieuwbare energie, … De kosten zijn enorm, naar schatting 500 miljard euro voor de EU alleen, op +/- 3.8% van het Europees BBP. Bovendien zijn 25-30% van corrosie-gerelateerde kosten overbodig. Daarom heeft dit project tot doel bedrijven te voorzien van een systeem om de corrosierisico’s in hun installaties te evalueren, zodat ze passende preventieve maatregelen kunnen nemen, en om hun bewustzijn rond het thema te vergroten.

French summary

La corrosion est une menace pour notre économie qui est souvent sous-estimée, dans toutes les industries où l’eau entre en contact avec l’acier: le secteur maritime, les ports, le traitement des eaux, la production d’énergie renouvelable offshore… Les coûts sont énormes, environ 500 milliards d’euros pour l’UE seulement, à +/- 3.8% du PIB européen. De plus, 25 à 30% des coûts liés à la corrosion sont superflus. C’est pourquoi ce projet vise à doter les entreprises d’un système d’évaluation des risques de corrosion dans leurs installations, afin qu’elles puissent prendre les mesures préventives appropriées.