What Is Cathodic Protection (CP)?

From oil and gas to infrastructure sectors, cathodic protection (CP) offers an indispensable solution for corrosion prevention. Join us as we uncover the science behind CP and discuss its importance for businesses looking to safeguard their assets.

What Is Cathodic Protection (CP)?

Cathodic protection is an electrochemical technique used to prevent corrosion of metallic structures, pipelines, and other assets by transforming the corroding metal into a cathode (the positively charged electrode) within an electrochemical cell. This process is achieved by connecting the structure to a sacrificial anode (the negatively charged electrode), which corrodes in place of the protected metal. By doing so, CP inhibits the electrochemical reaction that leads to corrosion and degradation of the metallic structure.

Two Types of Cathodic Protection Systems

There are two main types of CP systems: galvanic (or sacrificial) anode systems and impressed current systems.

  1. Galvanic Anode Systems: These systems involve connecting a sacrificial anode made of a more reactive metal (such as zinc, magnesium, or aluminum) to the structure that requires protection. The sacrificial anode corrodes more quickly than the structure, offering it effective protection. The anode must be replaced periodically once it is consumed.
  2. Impressed Current Systems: In these systems, an external power source drives a direct current (DC) through the structure and an inert anode made of non-corrosive material (e.g., graphite, mixed metal oxide, or platinum-coated titanium). The applied voltage ensures the protected metal remains in a passive state, preventing corrosion.

Industries Benefiting from Cathodic Protection

Cathodic protection plays a critical role in preserving the integrity and lifespan of valuable assets in a variety of industries. Some of these include:

  • Oil and Gas: CP is essential for protecting underground and underwater pipelines, storage tanks, and well casings from corrosion.
  • Marine: Ships, offshore platforms, and underwater structures utilize CP to combat the corrosive effects of saltwater.
  • Infrastructure: Bridges, water and wastewater treatment facilities, and transportation structures employ CP to maintain their longevity and reduce maintenance costs.

Why Choose Cathodic Protection for Your Assets?

Investing in cathodic protection offers several benefits that help businesses ensure the safety and longevity of their assets. These benefits include:

  1. Asset Preservation: CP effectively reduces corrosion rates, thereby prolonging the service life of metallic structures, pipelines, and other assets.
  2. Cost Savings: By minimizing corrosion-related damage, CP lowers maintenance and repair costs and reduces the need for expensive asset replacements.
  3. Environmental Protection: CP helps prevent leaks and failures in pipelines and storage tanks, protecting the environment from potential contamination.

Selecting the Right Cathodic Protection Company

When choosing a cathodic protection company, it’s crucial to consider factors such as experience, expertise, and industry knowledge. Here’s what you should look for:

  1. Experience: A reputable company should have a proven track record of successfully implementing CP systems for various industries and applications. At Hawaiian Corrosion Protection, we have over 25 years of experience with cathodic protection, and over 90 years of combined experience.
  2. Expertise: Your cathodic protection company should have a team of qualified engineers and technicians with in-depth knowledge of CP principles, materials, and design techniques.
  3. Industry Knowledge: Your company should be well-versed in the unique challenges faced by your industry and offer tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.