Steel Sheet piling are commonly present in harbours, channels, sluices and dams to protect this facilities. They are particularly common in The Netherlands where approx. 40% of the territory is below sea level and where waterways and port areas have a very high economically value.
Corrosion and degradation of Steel Sheet Piling is a continuous deterioration process that may lead to serious safety, economical and legal consequences for Port and Waterways Authorities. If not monitored and controlled during their service life, serious degradation can be expected after only 10 years of operation for example due to accelerated degradation processes such as Accelerated Low Water Corrosion (ALWC), a form of corrosion caused by microbial growth that can occur on inshore, tidal, marine, steel piled structures. Its consequences can be expensive, often requiring costly remedial works and unplanned facility downtime. Corrosion rates in excess of 3 mm/year have been observed and if left untreated can results in the integrity of the facility being seriously compromised.
Corrosion degradation of these structures may be also as consequence of high-low tide, fresh and salt water mixing and it may be more aggressive in the Splash Zone due to the higher concentration of Oxygen. Damages can also be mechanical due to ship movements and impacts.
Visual examination and UT verification are traditionally used for the examination and inspection of Steel Sheet Pilings. PEC is a cost saving alternative solution for screening and monitoring these structures:
PEC screening supports the prioritisation of the maintenance actions and, the proper and effective allocation of the available maintenance budget and resources where they are exactly needed.
PEC monitoring will gain long-term financial savings in maintenance versus the possibility of a complete replacement or reconstruction, which is very significant.