Office for Technology Commercialization

Wireless Miniature Corrosion Sensor

Technology #20130324

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Metal Corrosion SensorMetal CorrosionWater Battery
William Smyrl, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
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Managed By
Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending 2015-0198519

Wireless Miniature Corrosion Sensor

A metal corrosion sensor has been developed that is installed as a deactivated water battery. Electrodes positioned on substrate paper activate in the presence of harmful liquid and transmit detailed information about the corrosion wirelessly. The signals are received by a nearby RFID-reader and the information is processed to accurately determine the time to failure. Overall features offered by this sensor allow for generally unintrusive, inexpensive, reliable monitoring.

MN-IP Try and Buy
MN-IP Try and Buy deal terms are in the process of being posted. Contact Larry Micek for specific details.

Harmful Corrosion in Metal Systems

The exposure of metal equipment to corrosive liquids can have devastating effects on the operation of the equipment and can cause expensive damage. This damage can be reduced or avoided by properly monitoring the state of corrosion in engineering equipment. Several obstacles to correctly monitoring metal corrosion are intrusive sensing methods, intricacy of the systems to be monitored (i.e. pipe networks), and cost of sensor replacement.

Applications of Miniature Wireless Sensor

Due to the complicated nature of metal pipe networks, accurately monitoring the state of corrosion in metal pipe networks can be difficult, expensive, and inconvenient. However, the small size of this miniature sensor will avoid costly intrusion into the system and unneeded complexity will be avoided by the wireless aspect. In addition, any equipment below insulation introduces the issue of accessibility that can be similarly solved by the convenient installation and maintenance of the miniature wireless sensor. Furthermore, the low cost of the unit makes it attractive for uses in disposable microsystems such as DNA analyses chips and diagnostic devices.


  • Small and wireless, making it unintrusive.
  • Low cost, enabling for installation in multiple locations.
  • Long shelf-life in the installed, deactivated state.
  • Accurate, reliable information relayed wirelessly, including time to failure.

Phase of Development A prototype has been developed and tested in a laboratory setting.