As we all know, many kinds of metal, including steel, are prone to corrosion thanks to the forces of oxidation that create rust. However, steel and other metals are important to the function of many kinds of machinery that could break down or become compromised if these metals corrode. One way to stop this is through cathodic protection. One of the most common forms of cathodic protection is the ICCP System. ICCP is an acronym that stands for Impressed Current Cathodic Protection.
The ICCP System is similar to other methods of cathodic protection such as the galvanic method but with key differences. With the galvanic system, the metal that is at risk of corrosion is protected through a complicated process that involves the use of a separate metal with a higher potential negative redox level, commonly magnesium, zinc or aluminum, that is connected to the structure in question through an insulated wire.
This forms an anode. A cell of electricity is then produced with a current that flows from the structure to the anode. This is called a cathode, and it acts to protect the metal in question from corrosion. Instead of the metal being corroded, the anode is corroded over time thanks to the loss of electrons.
However, the galvanic system has significant flaws. As previously mentioned, the anode corrodes due to how this system operates. Over time, it will have to be replaced or the metal will no longer be protected. To solve this problem, the ICCP System was developed.
The ICCP System differs from the galvanic system in one key way. This difference lies in the power source that is used to produce the current. In a galvanic system, an AC current, short for alternating current, is used. This electric current is produced naturally by the operation of the galvanic system. However, an ICCP System instead uses a direct current or DC current for short. To accomplish this, a rectifier is implemented to make the conversion from AC to DC power.
Thanks to this switch, the current that powers the reaction is supplied externally away from the anode. Due to this fact, the anode is far better protected and corrodes much more slowly. This gives the ICCP system a strong edge over the galvanic system since the anode will last for much longer and need to be replaced less frequently.
The ICCP system has many exciting applications. One such application is the implementation of the system into ships to protect the hull from the corrosive effects of sea water. In fact, the ICCP system can make automatic adjustments to make sure the hull is protected the same when the resistivity of the sea water changes.
The ICCP system has a wide range of applications in many other industries as well. Whenever metal needs to be protected from corrosion, the ICCP system may be implemented. Visit Cathodic ICCP Marine Engineering for more information on the subject as well as the education that is required to become an engineer with the knowledge and skill to construct ICCP systems.