Cathodic Protection for Ships

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The underside of a ship needs to be properly treated before it is lowered into the water. Made of different types of metals, it is important that the underside is treated first to prevent excessive rusting or corrosion of the ship. Impressed current cathodic protection systems are now commonly used in the treatment of ships as well as other submarines to prevent them from rusting or corroding all too quickly. The process itself is actually quite feasible and offers a long-term solution for dealing with corrosion problems.

Previously, most shipbuilding yards preferred using sacrificial anode systems in order to add corrosion resistance to the surface of the ship. The problem with sacrificial anode systems is that they require frequent replacement in order to maintain their effectiveness, which means that the ship needs to be brought back to the yard again and again. However, the reason why impressed cathodic protection is now the preferred choice amongst ship owners is because it significantly reduces the costs of maintenance and fuel.

How Does it Work?

Basically, the system works by supplying a controlled amount of DC current to the submerged surfaces of the ship by making use of highly reliable mixed metal oxide anodes as well as zinc reference electrodes. An electrical current is passed and is constantly monitored and regulated by a pre-designed system that is used to minimise the electrochemical action of the galvanic corrosion before it starts in earnest.

For almost 25 years, operators of vessels of different types and sizes including LNG carriers, oil tankers, pleasure crafts, cruise ships, semi-submersibles, workboats, and others have taken advantage of the cathodic protection treatment to ensure that their crafts get round-the-clock protection. Cathodic protection in Singapore doesn’t even cost a great deal of money so it’s important that you first discuss the costs of cathodic protection with the company before setting a date for protective work.

The Advantages

The cathodic protection system offers a series of advantages that you don’t get with conventional methods. For instance, it greatly increases the life of the rudders, the shafts, and the propellers as well as other parts that are submerged under the water and could be affected by the electrolysis.

Secondly, you should know that the anodes are relatively light so they can be easily shipped, fitted, and installed. Also, because the equipment is automatically controlled, you don’t have to worry much about altering the current. This ensures safety as well. Furthermore, only one installation is ever needed for the entire life of the structure or the vessel so you never have to spend any money again in order to combat the rusting and corrosion on the underside of the ship.

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