In all manner of metallic structures and vehicles that are regularly exposed to water and aquatic environments, eventually, without protection and maintenance, such metallic structures begin to corrode. They rust away as the metal is chemically converted into oxide, hydroxide, and sulfur elements due to oxygen and saltwater exposure.
And corrosion is the last thing you want on such a structure or vehicle, for you depend on such a thing to function adequately for your own safety. A corroded structure or vehicle is an unstable danger to all who are in or on it. Structural integrity is compromised, and safety is not guaranteed.
Cathodic Protection – What Is It And How Does It Work?
But, there exist safe, dependable, and easy methods of controlling or preventing corrosion from happening. One such method of protection is called Cathodic Protection, also called an Impressed Current Cathodic Protection System or ICCP System for short. Cathodic Protection protects metallic structures and vehicles from corrosion by controlling said corrosion.
To do this, it makes the surface of the metal a cathodic electrochemical cell. What this means is that an electric current is charged through the metal in a certain fashion, making the surface electrically polarized. This changes the properties of the metal into that of an electrochemical cell.
An electrochemical cell is a device that can either use chemical reactions to generate electrical energy or use electrical energy to create and facilitate chemical reactions. This latter explanation is how Cathodic Protection protects metallic structures from corrosion and explains the term Impressed Current in the term ICCP system.
To Wrap Things Up
Since corrosion is a chemical process by which atoms in the air and water bond with the electrons in the metal and oxidize it, (creating rust) this protects the metal from corrosion by introducing electrons using an electric current to bond with the atoms in the air or water, instead of the metal. This preserves the metal’s electrons from being stolen in the process of a chemical reaction by substituting them with electrons from an electric current.