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Corrosion inspection solution leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide a safer and more dynamic solution for inspection and monitoring of corrosion on ships

Corrosion is an inevitable factor for ships and is a major challenge for the industry. The deterioration of the steel structures causes higher maintenance costs, system failures and shortens service life. 

Today surveyors have to go onboard a ship to carry out their inspections and check for corrosion, coating defects, cracks, shape deformations and such like. Finding corrosion and coating breakdown depends on close-up visual inspection, while the assessment levels are estimated according to the surveyor’s experience. 

This traditional way of doing inspections is not optimal and challenges class to develop more effective inspection tools, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to automatically detect corrosion and coating breakdown, replacing time-consuming and costly close-up visual inspections. 

DNV’s research work aims to facilitate the surveyor’s task by reducing their presence onboard the ship while increasing their efficiency in corrosion inspection. 

“Humanity has been battling rust since people first began using metal for their own purposes."

  • Jonathan Waldman,
  • author,
  • Rust: The Longest War

Diagnosing and monitoring hull corrosion with AI 

The DNV artificial intelligence research center is combining an image-based tool - which takes 2D images as input – with a finetuned deep-learning algorithm, to predict areas of corrosion and coating breakdown, and assess GOOD, FAIR and POOR levels directly in proportion to the number of pixels. 

The next phase will involve augmenting the solution with Intel RealSense sensors to obtain exact dimensions: a depth sensor to pinpoint the 3D position of corrosion areas, and a tracking sensor to navigate locations of the areas. 

The third stage is to convert current periodical inspections to predictive inspection. To achieve this, it is vital to track and understand the root causes of corrosion evolution over a vessel’s lifetime. DNV views this as a long-term research goal once historical data is available. 

The benefits 

DNV is focused on creating new solutions leading the way to digitally-enabled inspections. will enable more efficient monitoring and inspection of the vessel asset remotely. This will reduce inspection costs and risks, especially in complex areas by using unmanned vehicles such as drones and mobile robots. Images of the corrosion can be automatically captured and securely hosted and protected on DNV’s Veracity platform. 

The solution will also give the shipowner a predictive tool to help make data driven decisions on the maintenance optimization and coating performance, potentially saving them hefty costs down the line. 

This type of technology could become standard practice, much like the automatic assessments that are carried out in other industries where corrosion is commonplace. leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide a safer and more dynamic solution for inspection and monitoring of corrosion on ships