CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
W.H. Hartt and E. Lemieux*
ABSTRACT
The historical development of marine cathodic protection design, along with the recently developed, firstprinciples based slope parameter method, is reviewed briefly. It was projected that the remaining issues that require resolution before cathodic protection design can be optimized are improved methods for representing the slope parameter, anode current capacity, and mean current density. The present paper focuses on the last of these and, in so doing, evaluates data from a variety of field structures for which such information exists and from laboratory and field test programs. An analytical model for current density decay with time, as a consequence of calcareous deposit formation, is presented; and a new method is proposed for specifying mean current density in cathodic protection design of offshore structures.
KEY WORDS: analytical model, cathodic protection, design, galvanic anode, mean current density, offshore structures, seawater, slope parameter
INTRODUCTION
Cathodic Protection Design Practice
Cathodic protection (CP) design procedures have evolved historically according to trial and error; Ohm’s law using a single, longterm current density; ^{1} Ohm’s law and rapid polarization using three design current densities, an initial (i _{o} ), mean, (i _{m} ), and final (i _{ƒ} ); ^{2}^{}^{3} and the slope parameter method. ^{4}^{}^{7}
Submitted for publication June 1999; in revised form, February 2000. Presented as paper no. 627 at CORROSION/99, April 1999, San Antonio, TX * Center for Marine Materials, Department of Ocean Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431.
Accordingly, the second and third practices are based upon the equation:
I
a
=
φ
c
– φ
a
R
a
(1)
where I _{a} is the individual anode current output, φ _{c} is the closed circuit cathode potential, φ _{a} is the closed circuit anode potential, and R _{a} is resistance of an individual anode. For threedimensional or space frame type offshore structures, anode resistance is normally the dominant component of the total circuit resistance; and so it alone is represented. In most cases, this parameter is calculated from standard, numerical relationships that are available in the literature ^{8}^{}^{1}^{3} based upon anode dimensions and electrolyte resistivity. Figure 1 graphically illustrates the prin ciple behind this equation and approach. Considering that the net current for protection (I) is the product of the structure current density demand (i _{c} ) and surface area (A _{c} ), the number of anodes required for protection (N) is determined from the relationship:
N =
i
c
×
A
c
I a
(2)
By earlier practice, ^{1} CP design was based upon a single time average or mean current density that polarized the structure to the potential required for protection (i.e., to –0.80 V vs silversilver chloride
00109312/00/000195/$5.00+$0.50/0
988
© 2000, NACE International
CORROSION—OCTOBER 2000
CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
[AgAgCl]), within perhaps several months to 1 year.
It was recognized subsequently, however, that
application of an initially high current density (rapid
polarization ^{4}^{,}^{1}^{4}^{}^{1}^{8} ) resulted in a lower mean current
density and reduced anode mass to provide protec
tion for the design life. Accordingly, present protocols
are based upon three current densities, ^{2}^{}^{3} such that
i _{o} and i _{ƒ} are substituted successively for i _{c} in Equa
tions (1) and (2) with the number of anodes corre
sponding to each being determined. However, i _{m} is
calculated from the mass balance relationship:
N =
i
m
×
AT
c
×
C
×
w
(3)
where T is the time for which protection is achieved,
C is anode current capacity, and w is weight of an
individual anode.
Invariably, the number of anodes determined
according to each of the three calculations is differ
ent with the largest being specified. For uncoated
structures this is usually i _{o} . Consequently, the
system is overdesigned in terms of the other two
current densities. This arises because the procedure
is an algorithm rather than being firstprinciples
based.
Slope Parameter Approach to CP Design
More recently, the slope parameter approach to
galvanic CP system design was developed based upon
a modification of Equation (1) as: ^{4}^{}^{7}
φ
c
= _{(}_{R}_{A}
t
×
c
_{)} × i
φ
+
ca
(4)
where R _{t} is the total circuit resistance. This rela
tionship projects a linear interdependence between
_{c} and i _{c} , provided R _{t} , A _{c} , and _{a} are constant. That
this is normally the case has been confirmed by
laboratory and field measurements. ^{4}^{}^{7}^{,}^{1}^{9} For
space frame type structures with multiple galvanic
anodes:
R
t
≅
R
a
N
(5)
with the product R _{t} × A _{c} being defined as the slope
parameter (S) such that:
S =
R
a
×
A
c
N
(6)
Substitution of the latter expression into Equation (3)
then yields:
R
a
×
i 
× 
TS × 

w 
= 
m 
(7)
C
FIGURE 1. Schematic of a polarization diagram and parameters relevant to galvanic anode cathodic protection system design.
Upon defining an appropriate value for S, all terms
on the right side are known from the design choices;
and so the process is reduced to determination of the
optimum combination of R _{a} and w. This may be
accomplished in terms of anodes of standard dimen
sions or, perhaps more effectively, by specifying an
elongated anode or dualnodes. ^{2}^{0} Thus, if anode
resistance is represented in terms of Dwight’s
modified equation:
R _{a} =
ρ
×
ln
4 L
2
π L
r
– 1
(8)
where is electrolyte resistivity, L is anode length,
and r is equivalent anode radius, then the left side of
Equation (7) becomes:
R
×
w
=
×
ρρ
′ ×
r
2
×
ν
ln
4
L
2
r
– 1
(9)
where ′ is anode density and ν is volume fraction of
the anode that is galvanic metal as opposed to core.
The required number of anodes then can be
calculated from Equations (3) or (6).
Hartt, et al., projected that the slope parameter
based design approach yields a 32% reduction in
anode mass in the case of typically sized structures
compared to design ^{5} according to present recom
mended practice. ^{2}^{}^{3} This arises because Equation (7)
is firstprinciplesbased and incorporates i _{m} and i _{o} ,
the former explicitly and the latter implicitly via the
slope parameter. As such, design can be optimized in
terms of both parameters instead of just one. An
alternative view is that, of the two terms on the left
side of Equation (7), R _{a} determines i _{o} while w relates
to i _{m} .
CORROSION—Vol. 56, No. 10
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CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
REMAINING CRITICAL ISSUES
With the advent of the firstprinciplesbased
slope parameter approach to CP design, the remain
ing issue that requires resolution before CP systems
can be better designed is development of improved
procedures for specifying the parameters on the right
side of Equation (7), namely i _{m} , S, and C, where the
first two relate to polarization characteristics of the
structure and the third to galvanic anode perfor
mance. Of interest in the present paper is the design
choice for i _{m} , since recommended practices ^{2}^{}^{3} list this
parameter as 55 mA/m ^{2} to 80 mA/m ^{2} for near
surface subtropical regions, while significantly lower
maintenance current densities (i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} )—3.4 mA/m ^{2}
and 8.8 mA/m ^{2} for two Gulf of Mexico structures
(ages 19 years and 22 years, respectively) ^{1}^{9} and
5.4 mA/m ^{2} to 34.4 mA/m ^{2} for 15 Arabian Gulf
structures (ages 13 years to 26 years) ^{2}^{1} —have been
reported. ^{(}^{1}^{)} Since anode mass to achieve a particular
design is directly proportional to i _{m} , significant cost
savings potentially can result if, indeed, design
according to a reduced i _{m} can be justified.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Field Data
As the initial step in developing an empirical
mean current density model, existing literature data
were synthesized. Thus, Figure 2 reports i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} vs time
data that have been extracted from the literature for
various offshore structures. These include informa
tion from structures exposed to different oceans and
represent shallow and deep and tropical/temperate
and northern latitude locations. ^{(}^{2}^{)} In most cases, the
individual data sets correspond to either a given
structure overall, a given elevation on a structure, or
a test panel or leg wrap on a structure. Exceptions
are references 19 and 22—for which the data to
7,008 h (292 days) are from one structure ^{2}^{2} and the
single data points at 166,440 h and 192,720 h
(19 years and 22 years, respectively) are from two
others ^{1}^{9} —and reference 21 where each data point is
for a separate structure. The general trend, for the
data collectively and for individual structures,
consists of an initial period during which i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} was
roughly constant followed by decay according to a
power law relationship (linear on loglog coordinates).
Note, however, that the early time, constant i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t}
period is not apparent in some cases, and slope of
^{(}^{1}^{)} i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} is defined as the value for i _{c} at an exposure time of interest. In these cases, this was the time at which CP surveys on the individual structures were performed. Subsequently, these two terms, i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} and i _{c} , are used interchangeably as the i required to maintain a particular φ. ^{(}^{2}^{)} Most of the data in Figure 2 represent values read from graphical plots of the various authors rather than actual data per se. ^{(}^{3}^{)} UNS numbers are listed in Metals and Alloys in the Unified Numbering System, published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and cosponsored by ASTM.
_{9}_{9}_{0}
the individual data sets differs. Also, i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} decayed
continuously with time, albeit at a progressively
reduced rate, such that there is no indication of a
true steadystate value being ultimately achieved.
The overall scatter is such that at any given time
i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} varied by ~ 1 order of magnitude. This probably
reflects variations in factors such as temperature,
wave action, water velocity, water chemistry, and
CP system design and the effect of these upon
calcareous deposit formation kinetics and properties.
Data for the shallow water of the Gulf of Mexico,
South Atlantic, and Arabian Gulf exposures subse
quently are referred to as “warm” water results and
those for the remainder as “cold” water ones. Al
though these two data sets are within the same range
in the short term (10 h to 10 ^{4} h), i _{m}_{a}_{i}_{n}_{t} at greater
times for most of the warm water locations falls
below those for the cold. Presumably, this is a
consequence of the greater tendency for calcareous
deposit formation under the former type exposure
(warm water) compared to the latter. ^{2}^{3} Results from
the 15 different Arabian Gulf structures ^{2}^{1} and two
Gulf of Mexico structures ^{1}^{9} are of particular interest
because of the otherwise general unavailability of
truly longterm data.
Laboratory and Field Test Data
Recent emphasis in laboratory experimentation
pertaining to marine cathodic protection has been on
a procedure in which a steel specimen is electrically
connected to a galvanic anode through an appropri
ately sized resistor, and _{c} and i _{c} are monitored as a
function of exposure time. ^{4}^{}^{6} Equation (4), then,
facilitates a direct comparison between data from
such specimens and those from actual structures.
In the present research, results of previous
laboratory experiments of the type described were
reevaluated and compared with the data from full
size structures (Figure 2). As an example, Figure 3
shows i _{c} vs time data for four 51mm high by 25mm
diameter structural steel (UNS K12037) ^{(}^{3}^{)} cylinders
with a 600grit surface finish that were coupled to a
symmetrically positioned aluminum anode ring
through a resistor of the indicated size and exposed
to natural seawater at ambient laboratory tempera
ture. In each case, the data trend parallels that in
Figure 2 in that i _{c} was initially constant with time
but subsequently decayed according to a power law
relationship with no indication of a steadystate
value ever being reached. The initial i _{c} varied in
versely with size of the external resistance, and the
time at which i _{c} began to decay was greater the
higher this resistance.
As a second example, Figure 4 shows i _{c} vs time
plot for three 200mm ^{2} structural steel plate (UNS
G10200) specimens also coupled to a galvanic
aluminum anode through an external resistor and
exposed at a deep water Gulf of Mexico site for
CORROSION—OCTOBER 2000
CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
FIGURE 2. Current density vs time plot for offshore structures in various ocean locations. Solid symbols are for warm water and open and linear ones are for cold/deep water locations.
FIGURE 3. Current density vs time data for four laboratory specimens, each with a different slope parameter.
≈ 400 days. ^{2}^{9} The trend here is somewhat different
from that in Figures 2 and 3 in that the initial data
are not constant with time but conform to a sloping,
albeit shallow, straight line (loglog coordinates);
the break to a more steep i _{c} decay occurred more
abruptly; and a threshold current density is appar
ent. Figure 5 shows the data for the S = 0.70 Ωm ^{2}
specimen in linear coordinates, thus allowing occur
rence of an apparent threshold to be viewed more
definitively. Also shown in Figures 3 and 4 are the
upper and lower data bounds from Figure 2, thus
indicating a general correspondence between the
laboratory/test panel results and data from actual
structures.
Clearly, however, the longterm current demand
for an offshore structure is not revealed adequately
from laboratory or even field test data of the dura
tions addressed here.
Analytical Model
An attempt was made to evaluate empirically the
current density vs time trends in Figures 2 through
4. This was based upon the expression: ^{3}^{0}^{}^{3}^{1}
i
L
^{=}
DnFc
×××
x
t
+
Sh
p
(10)
where i _{L} is the limiting current density for oxygen
concentration polarization, D is the diffusion coeffi
cient for oxygen, n and F have their normal mean
ings, c is the bulk oxygen concentration, x is a
dimensional parameter related to the flow, Sh is the
Sherwood number (0.03[Re] ^{0}^{.}^{8} × [Sc] ^{0}^{.}^{3}^{3} , where Re is
the Reynold’s number and Sc the Schmidt number),
t is the calcareous deposit thickness, and p is the
porosity constant for the calcareous deposits
(unitless).
FIGURE 4. Current density vs time plots for three specimens exposed at a deep water Gulf of Mexico site.
Smith, et al., ^{3}^{0} and Hugus and Hartt ^{3}^{1} previously
have applied this expression to analyze i _{c} decay
trends for cathodically polarized steel specimens in
defined flow fields. In the present analysis, it was
assumed that calcareous deposits formed and i _{c}
decayed according to the following sequential
steps ^{3}^{1} :
—Precipitation of a thin, magnesiumrich
deposit within the first several minutes of expo
sure, accompanied by a corresponding decrease
in i _{c} (the data in Figures 2 through 4 are thought
to have resulted subsequent to this film having
formed).
—A period of constant i _{c} corresponding to the
time required for calciumrich deposits, either as
calcite or aragonite, to nucleate and begin to grow.
Accordingly, the break in the i _{c} vs time trend, where
this occurred (Figures 3 and 4), is thought to corre
spond to the onset of calcium carbonate (CaCO _{3} )
precipitation.
CORROSION—Vol. 56, No. 10
_{9}_{9}_{1}
CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
FIGURE 5. Current density vs time for the 17.4 Ω specimen from Figure 4 plotted in linear coordinates.
— Nucleation and growth of calciumrich depos
its accompanied by a second decrease in i _{c} (the power
law decay regimes in Figures 2 through 4).
To account for the time dependency of calcare
ous deposit nucleation and growth, Equation (10)
was multiplied by an expression of the form:
y
= exp(–
kT ^{m} _{)}
(11)
where y is the fraction of the surface available for
calcareous deposit nucleation as a function of time,
T, (y decreases from 1 to 0 as T goes from 0 to
infinity), and k and m are constants.
Also, the possibility of a threshold current
density at long times was included by addition of a
second term to Equation (10). Thus:
y
=
exp(–
kT
m
)
+ƒ
A
×
1 – exp(–
kT
m
)
or
* y
(
=ƒ+ 1
A
–
ƒ
A
)
×
exp(– kT
m
)
(12)
(13)
where ƒ _{A} is the fraction of bare area at very large T.
Calcareous deposit thickness (t in Equation [10]) was
represented in terms of the positive regime of the
expression:
7
t = 9 119 ×+
.
10
–
6
9 686 ××
.
10
–
log(
T
)
(14)
which is based upon data of Mao and Hartt from
measurements performed upon sectioned speci
mens. ^{3}^{2} Equation (14) also was multiplied by an
Equation (11) type term to account for the fact that
thickness of individual deposits should depend, at
any particular time, upon when nucleation occurred.
Hence:
^{†} Trade name.
_{9}_{9}_{2}
t
= [
1
– exp(–
kT
m
)] × [
9 119
.
×+
10
–
7
9 686
.
6
×× log( )]
10
–
T
(15)
Thus, the complete expression becomes:
(
i mA
/
m
2
)
=
10
3
[
×ƒ
A
+
(
1
–
ƒ
A
)
×
exp(–
kT
m
)]
×
DnFc
×××
x
+
[
1
– exp(–
kT
m
)]
×
[
9 119
.
×+
.
10
–
7
9 686
6
10
–
××
log(
T
)
Sh
p
(16)
Figures 6 through 9 illustrate how variations in the
parameters k, m, x, and ƒ _{A} affect the current density
time trend projected by Equation (16). Thus, Figure 6
shows that, as k decreases, the trend curve is dis
placed toward greater time but with no effect other
wise. Decreasing m (Figure 7) also tends to displace
the current densitytime curve to the right but with a
progressively more gradual transition from the upper
to lower plateau. However, the effect of decreasing x
or, alternately, the ratio of x to Sh (Figure 8), is to
displace the trend toward higher current density.
Increasing ƒ _{A} (Figure 9) increases the longterm
current density. In the first two cases (Figures 6 and
7), the two digits in the figure nomenclature refer
ence the values for k and m, respectively, for which
the indicated curves were generated. In Figure 8, the
three digits indicate the values for k, m, and x.
Figures 10 through 12 show results of attempted
fittings of Equation (16) to the data in Figures 2
through 4, considering that D = 2.72 × 10 ^{–}^{9} m ^{2} /s,
c = 5 mg/L, Sh = 282 (30), and p = 0.05 by optimiza
tion in terms of the parameters k, m, x, and ƒ _{A} using
the software SPSS ^{†} for Windows ^{†} . In cases where a
constraint was placed upon ƒ _{A} , the calculation
involved a sequential quadratic progression until the
optimal fit was obtained. Where no constraint was
imposed, the procedure was based upon nonlinear
regression using the Levenberg and Marquardt
method, ^{3}^{3} which successively iterated until the sum
of the least squares was < 10 ^{–}^{8} . Figure 10 pertains to
the shallow (warm) water zone of one of the struc
tures represented in Figure 2, ^{2}^{3} while Figure 11 fits a
deep water portion of the same structure. Figure 12,
however, addresses the ambient temperature (small
laboratory specimens from Figure 3), while Figure 13
shows the fit to the deep water test panel results
from Figure 4. A good fit was obtained in the first
three cases as indicated by the regression coefficient,
which was 0.972 and 0.936 for Figures 10 and 11,
respectively, and 0.992, 0.975, 0.958, and 0.941 for
the 150, 338, 678, and 998 Ω resistance experi
ments, respectively, in Figure 12. The fit was not as
good in the case of two of the three deep water test
panel experiments (Figure 13), however, presumably
because of the relatively sharp transitions that the
data exhibit. This distinction may have arisen
because the deposits upon these specimens com
CORROSION—OCTOBER 2000
CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
FIGURE 6. Plot of current density vs time from Equation (16) illustrating the influence of k (first digit of figure nomenclature) with m = 0.50, x = 0.7, and ƒ _{A} = 0.05.
FIGURE 7. Plot of current density vs time from Equation (16) illustrating the influence of m (second digit of figure nomenclature) with k = 0.10, x = 0.7, and ƒ _{A} = 0.05.
FIGURE 8. Plot of current density vs time from Equation (16) illustrating the influence of x (third digit of figure nomenclature) or the ratio of x to Sh with k = 0.10, m = 0.5, and ƒ _{A} = 0.05.
FIGURE 9. Plot of current density vs time from Equation (16) illustrating the influence of ƒ _{A} with k = 0.010, m = 0.70, and x = 0.70.
prised relatively open structures of magnesium
hydroxide (Mg[OH] _{2} ) and CaCO _{3} (in addition, per
haps, to a thin inner Mg[OH] _{2} layer mentioned), as
revealed by scanning electron microscopy, ^{2}^{9} such
that the net i _{c} decay reflected the combined nucle
ation and growth kinetics of these different phases.
Even here, however, the regression coefficient for the
17.4, 34.8, and 54.9 Ω experiments was 0.944,
0.934, and 0.861, respectively. Table 1 lists values
for the fitting parameters that were used in Figures
12 and 13. The apparent fit divergence at the low i _{c}
end in various plots could have been improved upon
by changes to ƒ _{A} , but doing so would have had a
negative overall effect upon the regression coefficient.
A limitation of the proposed model is that
Equation (10) and, hence, Equation (16) pertain to
situations of reaction control via a limiting cathodic i _{c}
(oxygen concentration polarization), which is likely to
occur only after some exposure time has lapsed. As
such, differences in initial i _{c} , as affected by resistor
sizing, in the case of laboratory/test panel expo
sures, and by CP design variations (different slope
parameters) for actual structures, cannot be accom
modated. In the present analysis, this was addressed
artificially by varying m (Figure 9). Future research
on this topic should focus on development of correla
tions between the fitting parameters (k, m, x, and ƒ _{A} ),
ocean properties (temperature, composition, and
water movement, for example), and calcareous
deposit precipitation kinetics.
Proposed Protocol for Specification of i _{m}
Based upon the above analyses, a new approach
to specification of i _{m} for CP design of offshore struc
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_{9}_{9}_{3}
CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
FIGURE 10. Comparison of average shallow water current density vs time data for a Gulf of Mexico structure with model fitting results. ^{2}^{3}
FIGURE 11. Comparison of average deep water current density vs time data for a Gulf of Mexico structure with model fitting results. ^{2}^{3}
FIGURE 12. Comparison of current density vs time data from laboratory specimens with model fitting results (Table 1).
FIGURE 13. Comparison of current density vs time data from deep water test panels with model fitting results (Table 1).
tures was proposed. To illustrate this, Figures 14
and 15 reproduce the warm and cold water data,
respectively, from Figure 2, but with linear (loglog
coordinates) best fit (mean) and ± one and two
standard deviation ( ) lines also shown. In the former
case (Figure 14), data at exposure times < 10 h were
not included, while the latter (Figure 15) was based
upon data > 150 h only. This was done so that the
shortterm, timeindependent data would not perturb
the curve fit in the power law regime. Accordingly,
the generic equation for the various lines is:
i
c
=
_{1}_{0} (
+
ac
σ )
×
T
b
(17)
where a, b, and c are constants with c given a value
such that the generated line is displaced from the
mean by a corresponding multiple of . Values for ,
a, and b for the warm and cold water cases are listed
_{9}_{9}_{4}
in Table 2. In Figures 14 and 15, values for c are 0 ±
1 or ± 2 corresponding to the mean, ± 1 , and ± 2
lines, respectively. Accordingly, the area under the i
T curve, as given by:
T
d
∫
0
i
c
dT
×=
T
d
∫
0
10
(
a
+
c σ
)
××=
T
b
dT
10
(
a
+
c σ
)
b
× T
d
+ 1
b + 1
(18)
is the total charge transferred during the design life
(T _{d} ). Dividing this then by T _{d} gives the time average
current density, which is considered here to be i _{m} .
Thus:
i
m
=
10
(
a
+
c
σ )
b
× T
d
b + 1
(19)
It was proposed that this expression serve as the
basis whereby values for i _{m} are specified in design.
CORROSION—OCTOBER 2000
CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
TABLE 1
DataFitting Parameters Used in Conjunction with Figures 12 and 13
Resistance (Ω)k
m
x
f _{A}
Analysis Condition
Warm Water Data (Figure 12)
150 0.198
338 0.096
678 0.135
998 6.56 × 10 ^{–}^{5}
0.401
0.443
0.416
1.413
0.114
0.218
0.384
0.567
0.131
0.147
0.247
0.384
Unconstrained
—
—
—
Cold Water Data (Figure 13)
17.4 0.227
34.8 0.003
54.9 1.06 × 10 ^{–}^{4}
0.183
0.695
1.083
0.062
0.146
0.208
0.1
0.1
1.57 × 10 ^{–}^{8}
Constrained,
0 ≤ f _{A} ≤ 0.100
—
The choice of c can vary depending upon the degree
of conservatism that is considered appropriate or the
extent to which data exist for the specific site in
question. In this regard, c need not be a whole
number. Figure 16 plots i _{m} vs design life (Equation
[19]), and Table 3 tabulates specific values. As such,
a major component of the proposed procedure is that
i _{m} is a function of the design life. Table 4 lists the
warm and cold water i _{m} values, proposed in Table 3,
that correspond to T _{d} = 20 years at three levels of
conservatism and indicates the percent difference
between these and values from a recommended
practice. ^{3} Thus, the proposed mean + 2 value (high
level of conservatism) for i _{m} is ~ 15% less than the
recommended Gulf of Mexico value ^{3} (47 mA/m ^{2}
compared to 55 mA/m ^{2} ), while the mean + 1 value
(intermediate conservatism) is about onehalf of this.
The mean itself, however, is 71% less than the
presently recommended value.
In the cold water case, these same values
range from 77% greater to about the same to 38%
below the present North Sea design value for i _{m}
(90 mA/m ^{2} ) for the same three degrees of conserva
tism (mean + 2 , mean + 1 , and mean i _{m} , respec
tively). ^{3} It is considered, based upon this, that the
presently recommended North Sea design i _{m} re
flects an appropriate level of conservatism for a
20year life, while the Gulf of Mexico design consti
tutes overdesign by a factor of ~ 2. Truncating the
i _{m} T relationship at short times according to an
appropriate value for i _{o} had little influence and
changed even the shortterm current densities by
only several percent.
CONCLUSIONS
❖ Current density decay with time data for cathodi
cally polarized offshore structures and for laboratory
and field test steel specimens exhibited an initial
period during which current density was approxi
mately constant or decreased at a relatively constant
rate followed by a more pronounced decay, which
conformed to a power law relationship. In most
FIGURE 14. Warm water data from Figure 2 with the power fit best fit and ± one and two standard deviation lines.
FIGURE 15. Cold/deep water data from Figure 2 with the power fit best fit and ± one and two standard deviation lines.
instances, this decay was continuous such that a
steady state was never achieved.
❖ The current density decay of cathodically polarized
steel in seawater was modeled analytically using the
expression in Equation (16).
CORROSION—Vol. 56, No. 10
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CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION
TABLE 2
CurveFitting Parameters for Equation (17)
Warm/Shallow
Parameters
Cold/Deep Water
Parameters
σ
a
b
0.233
3.130
–0.410
0.229
2.820
–0.226
❖ A new procedure for specifying mean current
density for CP design of offshore structures is
proposed based upon the expression in Equation (17).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors acknowledge past and present joint
industry project sponsors from which this paper was
developed. Member companies and organizations
include Amoco, British Petroleum, Chevron, Elf
Aquitaine, Exxon, Marathon, Minerals Management
Service, Mobil, Shell, and Texaco. Particularly
appreciated is critical guidance provided by members
of the technical advisory committees which included
J. Burk, D. Dopjera, C. Llewellyn, D. Townley, J.
Jelinek, S. Smith, C. Alsup, B. Niolon, C. Smith, R.
Smith, M. Surkein, S. Wolfson, A. Goolsby, D. Fan,
and R. Lewis.
REFERENCES
1. NACE Standard RP0176, “Corrosion Control of SteelFixed Offshore Platforms Associated with Petroleum Production” (Houston, TX: NACE International, 1976).
FIGURE 16. Plot of Equation (19) for the warm and cold water cases and c = 0, 1, and 2.
2. DnV Recommended Practice RP401, “Cathodic Protection Design” (Hovik, Norway: Det Norske Veritas Industri Norge AS, 1993).
3. NACE Standard RP017694, “Corrosion Control of SteelFixed Offshore Platforms Associated with Petroleum Production” (Houston, TX: NACE, 1994).
4. W. Wang, W.H. Hartt, S. Chen, Corrosion 52 (1996): p. 419.
5. W.H. Hartt, S. Chen, D.W. Townley, Corrosion 54 (1998): p.
317.
6. D.W. Townley, “Unified Design Equation for Offshore Cathodic Protection,” CORROSION/97, paper no. 473 (Houston, TX: NACE, 1997).
7. NACE International Publication 7L198, “Design of Galvanic Anode Cathodic Protection Systems for Offshore Structures” (Houston, TX: NACE, 1998).
8. H.B. Dwight, Electr. Eng. 55 (1936): p. 1,319.
9. E.D. Sunde, Earth Conduction Effects in Transmission Systems
(New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1968). 10. J.E. McCoy, Trans. Inst. Mar. Eng. 82 (1970): p. 210.
TABLE 3
List of i _{m} Values as a Function of T _{d} and for Different Degrees of Design Conservatism
Mean Current Density (mA/m ^{2} )
Time 
c = 0 
c = 1 
c = 2 

(years) 
Cold/Deep 
Warm 
Cold/Deep 
Warm 
Cold/Deep 
Warm 

1 
109 
55 
185 
95 
314 
162 

5 
76 
29 
129 
49 
218 
84 

10 
65 
22 
110 
37 
186 
63 

15 
59 
18 
100 
31 
170 
53 

20 
56 
16 
94 
28 
159 
47 

25 
53 
15 
89 
25 
151 
43 

30 
51 
14 
86 
23 
145 
40 
TABLE 4
Listing of Proposed i _{m} for a Design Life of 20 Years at Three Levels of Conservatism and the Percent Difference Compared to Current Practice
Warm Water 
Cold Water 

Degree of 
i _{m} (prop.) 
% Difference Compared 
i _{m} (prop.) 
% Difference Compared 

Conservatism 
(mA/m ^{2} ) 
to Reference 3 ^{(}^{A}^{)} 
(mA/m ^{2} ) 
to Reference 3 ^{(}^{A}^{)} 

None, c = 0 
16 
–71 
56 
–38 

Intermediate, c = 1 
28 
–49 
94 
4 

High, c = 2 
47 
–15 
159 
77 
^{(}^{A}^{)} A positive % difference indicated that i _{m} for the present method exceeds that from the current recommended practice.
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CORROSION—OCTOBER 2000
CORROSION SCIENCE SECTION

22. 
K.J. Kennelley, M.W. Mateer, “Evaluation of the Performance of BiMetallic Anodes on Deep Water Production Platform,” 

paper no. 169 (Houston, TX: NACE, 1982). 
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24. 


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29. 



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no. 381 (Houston, TX: NACE, 1989). 
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S.W. Smith, K.M. McCabe, D.W. Black, Corrosion 45 (1989): 




Retrofits Using Measured Structure Current Density,” 
30. 


CORROSION/93, paper no. 526 (Houston, TX: NACE, 1993). 
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489. 

Protection for Offshore Structures,” CORROSION/91, paper no. 
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CORROSION—Vol. 56, No. 10
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