Cathodic Protection Necessity – Steel pipelines are used in many areas of the world and in many businesses. They may be located above ground, below ground, and under water. Whether they are used for transporting oil or other fuels or for transporting water from one location to another, they are an important part of many businesses and even can be very important. Because of their importance, many pipelines use cathodic protection system.
Over time, steel can corrode, especially if the steel pipeline is submerged under water or is carrying water. The free electrons in the steel itself interact with the oxygen that is available in the water and create hydroxyl ions, which then may recombine with the oxygen in the water to create what is called ferrous hydroxide. Another term for this is corrosion. As you can imagine, problems can occur when areas of important pipelines begin to corrode. If the corrosion is not stopped or at least impeded to some degree, areas of pipeline will constantly need replacement in order to prevent problems from occurring when the contents of the pipeline leak out through the corroded areas of pipeline.
Cathodic protection (CP) is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell. A simple method of protection connects the metal to be protected to a more easily corroded “sacrificial metal” to act as the anode.
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