Introduction to Cathodic protection

Cathodic protection is an electrochemical technique for preventing corrosion of a metal exposed to an electrolyte. The process involves application of DC electrical current to the metal surface from an external source. The external source can be either a commercial power source or through connection to sacrificial metals such as magnesium or aluminum. It is used extensively in preventing corrosion to underground and submerged steel structures; such as pipelines, production well casings, and tanks.

Effective application of cathodic protection can provide complete protection to any exposed areas for the life of the structure. The combination of an external coating and cathodic protection provides the most economical and effective choice for protection of underground and submerged pipelines. For bare or ineffectively coated existing pipeline systems, cathodic protection often becomes the only practical alternative for corrosion protection.

Cathodic protection is a mandated requirement of federal and state regulations governing underground transmission pipeline, gas distribution systems, and underground petroleum tanks. These requirements include installation, monitoring, and maintenance of cathodic protection systems.

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