Cathodic protection is widely used to protect metal surfaces from the effects of corrosion. This involves making the metal surface a cathode. A substance that corrodes more easily than this metal is applied to the surface and functions as an anode, and it corrodes instead of the metal surface. The metal surface is safely protected from the harmful effects of corrosion. To make the metal surface cathodic, an electric current can also be provided from an alternate source.
Cathodic protection techniques are commonly used in industries for various purposes. Here is a list provided by Mears Integrity Solutions:
– In pipeline systems for water or fuel transportation
– In storage systems, like water heaters
– In transportation and equipment used by the Marines, in ship hulls
– In structures that are reinforced with metal
– In the piles of steel piers
– In the oil industry, like in the offshore platforms and onshore well casings
Going with cathodic protection is an ideal choice in many situations because:
– Ease of application: one of the biggest advantages of this anti-corrosion method is that it is easy to apply, unlike all the other anti-corrosion methods. It can be applied by simply maintaining a circuit, which can be monitored.
– Cathodic protection measures can be applied onto already existing structures, and does not require replacing or renovating the structure.
– The life of the metal structure can be prolonged by applying these protection measures.
– Usually, certain sections of metal structures require making a “corrosion allowance”. When cathodic protection measures are applied, however, such measures will not be required, as the measures protect the structure as a whole.
– These measures can safely and effectively be used in areas where even small leaks may be unsafe for the people or the environment.
– It can also be used to protect surfaces that are buried in either soil or water.
The recent advancements in technology also allow cathodic protection by solar energy as well. This is a useful option, since many remote areas may not have a regular power supply. Many companies now provide specialized cathodic protection services, including the installation of pipelines, installation of energy to existing structures, and even monitoring services.