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Cathodic Protection
Definition Cathodic protection is an electrochemical technique to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making that surface the Cathode of an electrochemical cell. (NACE RP-0169 control of
external corrosion on under ground / submerged metallic piping system)

Definition in terms of Polarization Cathodic protection is defined as Polarization of all cathodic sites to a potential equal to the potential of the most active (most negative) static anodic site.

Concept of CP
Corrosion of metal occurs due to electrochemical corrosion cell composed of anodic areas, cathodic areas, electrolyte and a metal path. At anodic areas, corrosion current flows from metal into surrounding electrolyte and metal corrodes. At cathodic areas, current flows from the electrolyte on to structure and metal is protected. Thus, if every part of exposed metal could be made to collect current, it will not corrode because entire surface will be Cathodic. This is basic concept f CP.

Concept of CP
In Terms of Polarization Corrosion current flows as a result of a potential difference between the anodic and cathodic sites. If the potential difference between the anodic and cathodic sites can be made equal to zero, than no current will flow. This can be accomplished by polarizing cathode electronegatively so that the polarized cathodic potential is equal to static anodic potential.

Eliminating Corrosion Cell

CP - How it Works
Corrosion occurs where current discharges from metal to electrolyte. Objective of cathodic protection is to force Direct Current to flow from a source onto all surfaces of the pipeline to make its entire surface cathodic. The current is discharged from an underground structure called ground bed / anode. Current flow is adjusted so it overpowers corrosion current discharging from all anodic sites on pipeline. Previously anodic areas now behave Cathodic and are protected.

Forcing Current on Pipeline

Types of Cathodic Protection

There are two basic methods of achieving Cathodic Protection:
Galvanic Anodes Cathodic Protection (SACP) Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP)

CP with Galvanic Anodes

CP with sacrificial anodes uses the electrochemical nature of metals as show in galvanic series. A dissimilar corrosion cell is established to counter act corrosion cells existing on pipe surface, by connecting a very active metal to the pipeline. In practice most used sacrificial anode material are magnesium, zinc and aluminum alloys. Sacrificial anode corrodes in order to produce the CP current and protects pipeline.

Galvanic Anode Applications

Galvanic anodes are generally used where small currents are required (typically less than 1 ampere). In applications where soils resistivity is low enough (typically less than 10,000 ohm-cm). To protect only few feet of pipe (termed as hot spot) at specific points e.g. repaired leak or to correct stray current interference. May also be used also for electrical grounding at pumping stations & across insulating joints.

Types of Galvanic Anodes

Galvanic anode materials commonly used are:
Magnesium Zinc Aluminum (primarily used in marine applications. It has higher current capacity than Mg or Zn but passivates rapidly)

Galvanic Anode Characteristics

Magnesium & Zinc are most widely used materials for galvanic anodes. Typical characteristics are given in table below
Characteristics of Anodes Specific Gravity Density lbs / ft3 Amp-hour per pound Pounds per Amp per Year Current Efficiency Actual Amp-hour per pound Actual pounds per Amp per Year Mg 1.94 121 1000 8.7 50 500 17.4 Zn 7.0 440 372 23.5 80 335 26

Galvanic Anode Installations

Single Package Anode Installation The simplest installation involves burying of a single packaged anode at a leak point or for distributed anode installations along a pipeline.

Galvanic Anode Installations

Multiple Packaged Anode Installation Several Mg or Zn anodes may be connected to a header wire which is terminated in a test point for periodic monitoring of output current / voltage.

Galvanic Anode Installations

Unpackaged Anode Installation Mg / Zn anodes also available unpackaged. These are installed with prepared backfill in buried installations.

Calculating Anode Life

If current output of a galvanic anode of given weight is known, its approx useful life can be calculated.
Mg Anode Life (years) = { 0.116 Anode Weight (lbs) Current Efficiency Utilization Factor } / Design current

Assume 32lb Mg anode producing 0.1A at 50% efficiency. Calculate expected life: Mg Anode Life (yrs) = (0.116320.500.85) /0.1 = 15.8 years

CP With Impressed Current

In galvanic anode systems, a higher energy metal is used to supply protection current. An impressed current CP system uses an external DC power source to supply the protection current. The current is distributed to pipeline through an underground current discharging structure (anode ground bed) which is electrically connected to T/R. Most common power source is a transformer rectifier, which converts AC to low voltage DC supply.

Components of ICCP
An ICCP system has following typical components:
Source of DC power supply Ground Bed Object to be Protected (pipeline/structure) Connecting Wires / Cables Test Points

DC Power Source
A DC power source can be any of the following:
Transfer Rectifiers DC Batteries Thermo Electrical Generators Motor Generators Wind Generators Solar Cells etc.

Characteristics of a Rectifier
A T/R unit typically consists of the following:
A transformer to step down AC line voltage to low AC on the secondary. A tap arrangement permits selecting range of output voltage A rectifier (silicon diode) converts AC to DC. External housing for outdoor mounting.

A wide range of rectifiers are available for varying dc out put voltage, in small increments. Voltage output typically range from 10 to 50 volts. Current output range from 10 to many hundred amps.

Anode Ground beds

Materials Materials popular for anode beds include graphite, high silicone iron, mixed metal oxide and steel scrap. Graphite anodes are available in various sizes, but 3-in by 60-in rods are most common for pipeline use and are supplied with insulated Cu leads (HMWPE). High silicon cast iron anodes normally contain b/w 14~15% silicon plus other alloying elements. Mixed metal oxide films are thermally applied to cores of precious metals e.g. Ti or Nb. These have excellent conductivity, resistant to acid environment and have low consumption rates.

Anode Ground Beds

Connecting Wires
CP system components must be duly connected. Connecting wires should be of pure copper and have least internal resistance. Insulation should be at least 600v rating & suitbale for direct burial. HMW-PE insulated wires widely used. Anode cables are at +ve potential w.r.t. earth and will discharge current (corrode), if not perfectly insulated. Acceptable connection methods include soldering, powder welding (thermite), phos-copper brazing, crimp type coupling and spilt bolt coupling to avoid heat damage to cable insulation.

ICCP Ground Bed Installation

Typically two anode constructions are used i.e.
Vertical anode installations Horizontal anode installations

No. of anodes required to attain a certain ground bed resistance are typical selected from charts. Important factor in selecting no. of anodes is desired anode life. To reduce current density per anode, no. of anodes can be increased, increasing anode life. Carbonaceous backfill is around anode is of very low resistivity and reduces anode to earth resistance.

ICCP Ground Bed Installation

Object to be protected
The underground object may be any one of following:
A cross country pipeline. A distribution pipeline. A piping network A steel structure. A storage tank An RCC foundation A ships hull etc.

A Backfill
Backfill around anode serves two basic purposes:
Increases effective size of the anode to obtain lower anode to earth resistance. Bears main consumption rate from current discharge.

Materials suitable for this requirement are:

Coal coke breeze. Calcined petroleum coke breeze. Natural or man-made graphite particles.

Test Points
Test Points or Stations are used for connecting a volt meter to allow for potential testing. Test points provide contacts for reference electrode as well as test leads to underground pipeline. Test point should be installed at inaccessible points of structures e.g. paved areas, concrete slabs. Any accessible location can be used as a test point. A valve pit, a low level drain pit, an exposed crossing can be used as test point.

Design Basis of CP System

German Standard
The CP system design is in accordance with German Standard AFK (Arbeitsgemeinschaft fr korrsionssch = German corrosion committee) Recommendation 9.

British Standard
The system also complies with British Standard BS 7361-91 (Part I) Cathodic Protection code of practice for land & marine applications.

Current Demand
Current demand for CP is based on surface area of RCC foundations at plant site, which is 180,989 m2. As per AFK Rec. 09, RCC absorbs 10mA/m2. So total current required is approximately 1800 Amperes.

Anode GBs Distribution

Deep Well Ground Beds

Construction Each ground bed (150m deep) consists of:
32 Si Fe anodes (size 2"60) in 16 chains. Each chain has 02 anodes & armored cable 110 mm2. Carbonaceous backfill around anodes which increase effective size of anode & bears main consumption. Steel support construction, consisting of 2 steel angle parts, connecting / lifting plates, anode carrying plates and centralizers. 2 pieces of 50 mm dia ventilation / irrigation pipes.

Deep Well Ground Beds

Chemical Composition (SiFe) Anodes
Si Mn C Cr Fe 14~15% 0.6~0.8% 0.9~1.0% 4.0~5.0% Remainder

Deep Well Ground Beds

Estimated Anode Life
Maximum current density = 0.5A / dm2 Anode weight /ground bed = 16 (223.8kg) = 760kg Anode consumption (bare) = 0.3 Kg / A-year Anode consumption (in coke) = 0.1 Kg / A-year Efficiency =60%

Life Time = 760 0.60 = 25.4 years (at max. output) (Theor.) 90 x 0.2

Anode Junction Boxes

Anode JB are installed near the ground beds. Anode JB is of stainless steel of 600600250 mm, supported on 2 nos. of 100 mm SS pipes. Positive cables of 16 anode chains from ground bed enter anode JB through support pipes. A positive cable from T/R also runs to anode JB and is connected with 16 anode chain cables. 16 shunts are provided for current measurement & 16 variable resistors to limit current per anode to 5A. A shunt enables to measure total anode bed current.

Anode Junction Boxes

Transformer Rectifier Units

Construction T/R units are DC power sources for ICCP system. 07 T/R units are installed, suited for outdoor location at 50C & 85% relative humidity, with sun roof. TR units are oil cooled with components installed inside oil tank. Minimum oil level must be checked. Above oil tank a control cabinet is provided with two lockable doors for metering and regulation. Three 4 position rotary switches select voltage from 0~50 V. For installation of positive and negative cables, a JB is installed on one side of T/R. From T.R unit, 3 positive cables (95 mm2) run to 3 anode beds and 35 mm2 negative cables run to negative bond boxes.

Transformer Rectifier Units

Negative Bonding Boxes

The bonding boxes are installed to hook the negative cables up to pipelines with bonding cables. Total 15 bonding boxes, specially designed for CP system for 50 C and 85% relative humidity are installed. Bonding box is made of stainless steel of 200300150 mm, supported on 100 mm dia. pipe. Each negative main cable (95mm2) from T/R unit is connected into a negative bonding box. All negative cables (35mm2) from to be protected pipelines one terminated in the bond box.

Test Points
Test points are installed at various locations of plant area to permit monitoring of pipe to soil potentials. Total 90 test points are installed out which 30 are located at ammonia plant and 60 on EPC plants. Test points are specifically designed for CP system for 50C and 85% relative humidity. The 30 test points for ammonia plant are provided with 30 permanent CuSO4 reference electrodes, due to concrete slab at plant.

Test Points
Each test point consists of:
A test post made of stainless steel of dimensions 100100200 mm. Cables (Cu 35 mm2) from pipelines to terminals inside the test post. Steel (St-37) test coupon bridged by means of 10 ohm resistor with pipeline cable. A CuCSO4 reference electrode (1 out of 5 test points).

Test Points

Test Coupons
Test coupons are installed to simulate a damage in coating of pipeline. This coating damage should be cathodically protected. Test coupon is made of Steel grade St. 37 and constructed complete with 2 cables. One cable lead connects with pipeline cable, via 10 ohm resistor and other lead used for potential measurement. Distance b/w pipeline and test coupon is kept 50 to 100 mm (max.) and b/w test coupon and permanent CuSO4 reference electrode also 50 to 100mm (max.)

Reference Electrodes

Accepted criteria to determine cathodic protection is pipe to soil (metal to electrolyte) potential. This is essentially voltage difference between the surface of protected pipe and a stable CSE. Stelth reference electrodes are specially designed for use in dry and sandy soils.
Stelth 2 stationary reference electrode (SRE-007-CUY) is used for permanent installations in soil. These are installed at 56 locations Stelth 3 portable reference electrode (SRE-010-CPY) is used for potential testing at ground level.

Reference Electrodes