What is a cathodic protection system?
The term “cathodic protection” may sound intimidating, but it is a simple concept that has been used to protect many different types of structures for decades. Cathodic protection systems use marine anodes to create an electrochemical reaction which reduces the corrosion rate of metal surfaces. This process is often used on ships, bridges, oil and gas pipelines, and other structures exposed to salt water or harsh environments.
Cathodic protection system works by introducing an electrical current into the structure which then creates an electrochemical reaction that prevents corrosion of the metal surface. In essence, cathodic protection is like a ‘sacrificial coating’ for your metallic components – it sacrifices itself to save your valuable assets!
Marine anodes – the most common type of cathodic protection system
The most common type of cathodic protection system uses marine anodes – also known as sacrificial or galvanic anodes – which are made from metals such as zinc or aluminum. These are attached directly to the metal surface and connected to a power source providing direct current (DC) electricity. This DC current will flow through the circuit created between the marine anode and its surrounding environment resulting in electrochemical reactions occurring at both ends of this circuit which ultimately prevent corrosion on the protected part.
Are cathodic protection systems worth the money?
Cathodic protection systems are incredibly cost effective, providing long-term protection for the metals in structures exposed to salt water or harsh environments. Not only does it protect these valuable assets from corrosion, but it also helps to reduce maintenance costs associated with keeping these structures in good condition.