Cathodic Protection of Tanks & Pipelines

Steel rusts and deteriorates when exposed to the elements. Rusting is an electrochemical process that affects most underground or underwater metallic structures, including oil and gas pipelines. To protect the environment and address the high costs of repair/replacement, it’s important to control corrosion. The most effective method to prevent corrosion is called cathodic protection, which has been used since the early 1800s.

Cathodic protection (CP) is a technology used to control the corrosion of a metallic structure by making it work as the cathode in an electrochemical cell. The two primary types of cathodic protection are:

  • A galvanic (sometimes referred to as passive or sacrificial) system uses active metals (aluminum, zinc, or magnesium) to generate the protective current. It is best used on well-coated structures of a limited size. A common example would be the anodes on a boat hull.
  • Impressed current systems use inert materials as anodes (cast iron, platinum, or mixed metal oxide clad) and a source of DC current, commonly referred to as a “rectifier.” The output of protective current can be adjusted and increased to meet requirements.

PCA Engineering has been designing and installing cathodic protection systems since 1961, and has extensive knowledge and experience in this area.

Applications for cathodic protection include:

  • Aboveground storage tanks
  • Underground metallic storage tanks
  • Water storage tanks, both soil side and water-contact surfaces
  • Underground metallic pipelines
  • Power plant structures: intake, discharge, circulating water, fuel systems
  • Marine structures

PCA New England, LLC

7 West End Way
Norwell, MA 02061
Phone:781.261.9688
Fax:781.261.9679

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