Predator        Infrastructure Preservation

About Corrosion Control

Corrosion causes over $2.2 trillion in premature failures and damages each year to the worlds infrastructure.  Utilizing proper engineering techniques and corrosion control technologies corrosion can be mitigated to preserve infrastructure integrity.

When metallic or other materials are manufactured large amounts of energy are put into the alloy or materiel during the refining process, this leaves the materiel in an high energy state.  All materials naturally want to be at their lowest energy state which is to be in their natural environment as an ore or unrefined mineral or substance; this is why metallic structures and other materials corrode or deteriorate.  There are three technologies used in protecting metal (metallic) structures from corrosion: coatings & linings, corrosion inhibitors and cathodic protection.

A technology that has been in use for over a hundred years to protect metallic structures from corrosion through the process of electrolysis is cathodic protection. Cathodic protection can be installed on any structure that is submerged or buried in a substance that will conduct electricity (electrolyte), such as the earth, water or other electrolyte. Cathodic protection is often required for operators of infrastructure such as utility companies (sometimes by law).  Utilities and infrastructure owners such as water, oil and gas pipeline operators are required to have cathodic protection installed for buried portions of infrastructure; this is to prevent leaks, preserve the environment and maintain public safety and interest from premature failures, hazardous spills and undesirable side effects caused from corrosion.  Private operators and citizens are now using cathodic protection because they understand the value that it gives by dramatically increasing the service life and often doubling the life of structures where it is utilized. 

Cathodic protection works by connecting sacrificial metal ingots or billets (anodes) to the structure you want to protect, because the anode is made of a more active or lesser quality material; the anode sacrifices itself and corrodes to protect the structure it is attached to. Cathodic protection is installed for many domestic structures but are never seen because they are installed within the structure or underground; for example most all modern water heaters have cathodic protection installed on the inside to protect their inner workings from corrosion.

The following are examples of infrastructure that can benefit from the application of cathodic protection:

Any metallic buried pipelines such as oil and gas piping networks, water piping networks and any other buried metallic pipelines.

Water treatment facilities, above grade and below grade metallic water tanks; the internal portion of water towers and both the internal and external portions of buried or submerged water tanks.

Above grade and below grade metallic hazardous material containing storage vessels such as underground fuel storage tanks and the bottoms of above grade bulk petroleum storage tanks.

Non-industrial hazardous containing metallic vessels such as liquid propane and other gas storage vessels that are buried or submerged such as those found in residential areas and home sites.

Buried storm shelters and other metallic underground or submerged structures that are used for dry good storage.

Structures exposed to marine environments such as offshore platforms, sheet pilings, ocean going and fresh water vessels.

Any submerged or buried metallic structure.

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