Stainless steel tube corrosion detection methods

We focus on supplying professional and reliable services for tube manipulation. The fact is that normal tubes won’t always suit the application. When this situation occurs, you need specialist utensils that possess the right features. Our services can give them to you. They can do so for reasonable rates too.

Stainless steel is a prime material for tubing because of its corrosion resistance. Even though it is resistant, it is not entirely immune to it. When it does happen, it appears in a localised manner rather than being uniform. What we are going to do in this post is talk about common detection methods for corrosion in these tubes. You can then choose the most suitable option.


We’ll start by offering you some aid in understanding corrosion detection’s underlying principles. To do so, we’ll look at three areas. They make examining stainless steel tubes different to detecting corrosion in other materials.

Magnetic characteristics

Tube manipulationMost stainless steels lack the magnetic characteristics that ferromagnetic metals possess. So, corrosion detection that depends on magnetism will not work. For instance, magnetic particle testing won’t work with austenitic steels. It is the same for other non-ferromagnetic substances.

According to professionals, certain detection strategies have stainless steel applications. They include infra-red thermography, conventional eddy current testing, and acoustic emission. Others are ultrasonic testing, visual inspection, and radiographic testing. If you need stellar tube manipulation services, talk to us.

Detecting pitting and cracking

Multiple strategies don’t detect either of these. Both issues are hard to spot and can lead to major failure. So, if there is a high failure cost, or a chance of cracking or pitting, you need to use suitable detection methods. Those that detect them in stainless steel include ultrasonic, penetrant dye, and eddy current testing.

Insulation removal

Several detection methods need direct contact with the metal. As such, if there is insulation, you have to at least partially remove it. But, when you do this, moisture can get under it. That increases the chances of corrosion in these spots. Moreover, plugs that cut into insulation aren’t always correctly replaced. They are one of the main contributors to energy efficiency in tubing systems. This creates something of a dilemma.

Some methods

Now that we’ve discussed these points, we can look more at some popular detection methods. You can then come to us for tube manipulation.

Visual inspection

Visually inspecting for corrosion using your own eyes is the most straightforward approach. If you only have a few tubes, this could be a cost effective strategy. But, for bigger systems that include a lot of tubing, it becomes less viable. There would be a lot of labour here.

Furthermore, you can’t visually inspect something your eyes cannot see. This makes it tough to find non-uniform corrosion. Also, our eyes have proven to be inept at locating stress corrosion cracks. These can begin very small. As a result, it is not always wise to rely on visual inspection only.


We can use this to detect corrosion without needing insulation removal. One con is that the x-rays generate radiation. So, you need to take precautions to maximise safety. Sadly, they will be impractical in several environments.

One other disadvantage is that x-ray does not pinpoint pitting and cracking. Saying this, you can use it for a myriad of other defects.

Eddy current

This has become one of the most reliable stainless steel corrosion detection methods. It utilises electromagnetic induction to introduce alternating eddy currents to your tube. When the field interacts with your steel, the coil impedance in the testing probe changes. It is the impedance that paints the picture of the tube’s defect.

Use our top quality tube manipulation services

At Multiform Tubes Engineering Ltd, we’re proud to be one of the most flexible tubing specialists working today. Our aim is to satisfy everyone that desires our services and merchandise.

As the foremost name in tube manipulation, you can rely on us to meet all your specifications. So, please let us know if we can be of help to you.