The leading cause of failure in storage tanks and piping is corrosion. Submerged gas lines and oil lines in the ocean spread out over long distances are at risk of corrosion at some point in time. Cathodic protection techniques is an effective and economical way to control corrosion on metal surfaces that are submerged or buried.
When plans are made for the construction of a submerged or buried system, corrosion is a factor that should definitely be taken into consideration. After all, pipelines that are buried in the earth are typically quite expensive.
Coverings and coatings are generally used in order to protect the pipelines from corrosion. However, the coating only provides primary protection and is not good enough to provide protection for long-distance pipelines. Such pipelines are especially vulnerable to corrosion when they are exposed to a wet environment.
The anticipated lifespan of a network of pipes is at least 50 years, depending on the transport medium. Customarily, a pipeline should function for up to 100 years.
The Benefits of Cathodic Protection
Some of the most common methods of corrosion prevention include anodizing, steel replacement with costlier metals, galvanizing, and painting. Anodizing, galvanizing, and painting are all effective methods when the pipelines are above ground and easy to access for maintenance. The methods are also most effective on pipelines of a smaller diameter.
When the pipelines are larger in dimension and extending underwater or underground, the same methods used for above ground application are not as effective or economical in the prevention of corrosion.
Pipelines used for carrying gas and oil at high pressures much be better protected against corrosion. At high pressures, it is simply not cost-effective to use any other methods. This is when cathodic protection will prove to be the best options economically.