The Brazilian pre-salt oil and gas discoveries brought technical challenges as impressive as the reserves themselves. Besides the concerns with exploration, the oil contamination with CO2, H2S and chloride enriched seawater combined with critical cyclic loads due to the relative movement of the production vessel and high water depths imposes an environment chemically and mechanically aggressive. Suitable materials to work on such harsh conditions are few and one should consider the use of special materials, such as supermartensitic and superduplex stainless steels. Although the corrosion and mechanical properties of these materials are well established, still additional crack growth data in specific environments should be provide to the subsea equipment designer. Indeed, due to the combination of cyclic loading and corrosive ambient the corrosion fatigue phenomenon is a major concern. In order to evaluate the effect of oil contaminants on the corrosion fatigue resistance of candidate materials, one should provide methods for crack growth measurement other than the use of crack gauges since those can not be used in chemically aggressive solutions. The present work aims to validate the potential drop crack growth measurement method comparing the results obtained by this technique with those produced by crack gauges on SEN(B) (Single Edge Notch Bending) specimens in air. This validation effort is essential because the ASTM E647 standard only consider the use of C(T) (Compact Tension) specimens which actually does not represents the real cracks propagation path in crucial subsea equipment, such as risers, drill pipes et cetera, that is through the wall thickness. The results produced by the two tested methodologies have an excellent agreement which makes reliable the use of the potential drop method as an alternative to monitor and measure crack growth in corrosive media.

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