Category Archives: Anodes

Sled Anode Cable Connections

What is the best way to prevent damage to sled anode cable connections due to rough sea current and waves?

MATCOR marine sled anodes (Sea-Bottom™ Anodes) are designed with the cable connections routed inside a high density polyethylene (HDPE) protective pipe with holes to provide a level of mechanical protection. Then we use concrete weights to help secure the HDPE pipe (with the cable inside) to the sea bottom so that they are not subject to wave or tidal action.

Sled Anode Cable ProtectionThe protective housing is pictured here and called out as item 4 on the drawing on page 3 of our Sea-Bottom Marine Anode Sled brochure. For the concrete weights, you can use a variety of methods from sacks of concrete to custom formed concrete cast weights. Below is a photo of the weights that were locally supplied to us for a recent project in Indonesia. These weights are installed by divers during the sled anode installation.

sled anode concrete weights

For assistance with impressed current anode system design, MATCOR’s Sea-Bottom Marine Anode Sleds, project management or installation, please contact us at the link below.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

Impressed Current Anode Systems for Jetty Piling

One of the key decisions for any cathodic protection system design is the choice between an impressed current anode system or a galvanic (or sacrificial) anode system. This is especially true for marine applications where cathodic protection is commonly applied to structures such as steel piling systems on jetties and piers for corrosion protection. A recent MATCOR project highlights the choice between ICCP and Galvanic systems on a newly constructed jetty in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Impressed Current Anode Systems vs Galvanic Anode Systems

impressed current anode systems for jetty piling
Click on the image above to read the full case study comparing impressed current cathodic protection utilizing marine anode sleds with a galvanic anode system.

This case study article, which appeared in the October issue of Materials Performance includes a comparison of key factors for commonly used galvanic (aluminum) anodes and impressed current (titanium with mixed metal oxide) anodes. The key differences between an impressed current anode system and a galvanic anode systems include:

  • Anode consumption rates
  • Current density (CD) limits
  • Driving voltage
  • Anode quantities
  • Installation time and costs

The article describes these key differences in more detail.

Conceptual Design – Galvanic vs Impressed Current

Jetty applications can be designed using either galvanic anodes or impressed current anodes, and often it is a matter of client or designer preference. For this project in Indonesia, the cathodic protection designer reviewed both system types to determine the ideal design for this application based on a 30-year anode life. The final decision was based on several factors including total number of anodes and installation time required, in addition to safety considerations.

Impressed Current Anode System Installation and Commissioning

The final design called for the installation of six marine anode sleds, which took less than a week to complete.

For more details about this impressed current anode system solution for jetty piling cathodic protection, please read the full article in the October issue of Materials Performance. You can also access the full article HERE.

For assistance with impressed current anode system design, MATCOR’s Sea-Bottom Marine Anode Sleds, project management or installation, please contact us at the link below.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

MATCOR Receives Patent for SPL-SandAnode™

Cathodic Protection Anode Designed Specifically for Tank Bottom Replacement Applications

MATCOR was recently issued US Patent No. 9,410,253 for its SPL-SandAnode, an impressed current linear anode that prevents corrosion of above ground storage tank bottoms (ASTs). Invented by Glenn Shreffler, executive vice president of engineering for MATCOR, the SPL-SandAnode is the only impressed current linear anode designed specifically for tank bottom replacement projects. These applications typically have six inches (150 mm) or less of sand where the anode is to be installed.

tank bottom replacement cathodic protection anode
MATCOR’s SandAnode is the only impressed current linear anode designed specifically for tank bottom replacement projects.

The recommended cathodic protection system for most ASTs is a tank ring anode system that utilizes linear anodes in a concentric ring configuration. However, when the clearance between the tank bottom and anode is less than 6-inches (150 mm), the SPL-SandAnode is used, either in the concentric ring configuration or in parallel linear lengths. The prepackaged linear anode with a sand backfill, in lieu of calcined coke, allows the anode to be simply laid out on the foundation while easily maintaining the maximum separation distance of the anode to the tank bottom.

The SPL-SandAnode is one of MATCOR’s SPL™ Anode Series, a complete line of flexible impressed current linear anodes utilizing MMO anode technology to support a broad range of cathodic protection applications. Advantages of MATCOR’s linear anodes include:

  • Single package design
  • Uniform current distribution
  • Flexible cathodic protection system
  • Waterproof Kynex® anode to cable connections

Learn more:  SPL-SandAnode

About MATCOR

MMO Anode Technology: The latest in Cathodic Protection

MMO anode technology has taken over the cathodic protection industry and MATCOR has been on the forefront for the last 20 years. Ted Huck, our VP of International Sales was interviewed at the recent NACE Corrosion Conference. In this video he discusses MMO anode technology for cathodic protection systems and the importance of reliable anode to cable connections.

MMO Anode Technology

MMO anodes, or mixed metal oxide anodes are the latest technology in the corrosion industry. Mixed metal oxide anodes are lightweight and durable with a very low consumption rate. 

MMO anodes are a mix of metal oxide electrocatalysts. In the presence of a DC voltage source they cause an electrical reaction that generates cathodic protection current. Unlike conventional impressed current anodes that physically consume as part of the cathodic protection reaction (at rates measured in kg/amp-year), MMO anodes are dimensionally stable and do not consume. Instead, they have a long and predictable catalytic life. MMO anodes consist of a thin coating of the MMO catalyst over an inert lightweight titanium substrate and are available in a wide range of shapes and configurations.

Why Cathodic Protection Systems Fail

Waterproof Anode to Cable Connection to protects MMO anode cathodic protection systems
Kynex® Patented, Waterproof Anode to Cable Connection

The most critical component to any cathodic protection anode system is the connection of the anode to the cable that runs back to the power supply. Because the cable is part of the anode system, if it has any nicks or defects or is not water tight, that cable can become part of the anode and will very quickly consume. When that happens, the anode fails. So, with cathodic protection systems it is imperative to have the highest quality connections.

Typically, when a cathodic protection anode system fails, it is not the anode that fails, it is the anode connection that fails. MATCOR has developed a proprietary technology for connecting wire anodes to cable, called Kynex®. Wire anodes are the heart of a lot of our products and this proprietary anode technology is a huge leap forward in the reliability of these connections.

Cost-effective, Reliable Cathodic Protection Solutions

At the end of the day, for our clients, it’s all about delivering value. It’s providing a cost effective solution that’s going to serve them for a very long time. As a designer and manufacturer of cathodic protection anode systems, we are able to specifically address client needs with customized corrosion prevention solutions that provide:

  • Long life
  • Great economic value
  • Superior reliability

MATCOR Products and Services

MATCOR is one of the world’s leading cathodic protection companies. We design, manufacture, install and service cathodic protection systems for clients worldwide. MATCOR provides services to the pipeline, midstream and oil & gas industries, protecting assets such as pipelines, storage tanks, and compressor stations. We also do a lot of work in the power industries, petrochemical, and chemical industries. Anywhere where you have buried steel structures, we are there to stop corrosion.
We encourage you to contact MATCOR through our website where our corrosion specialists and engineers can provide a solution tailored to your needs.

3 Pipe Cathodic Protection Methods for New Plant Construction

Cathodic Protection for Underground Piping Overview

Pipe Cathodic Protection | Cathodic Protection for Underground Piping | Steel Pipe Corrosion Protection Methods
Steel Pipe Corrosion Protection Methods: Deep Anode, Shallow/Distributed Anode Bed and Linear AnodeCathodic Protection

This article reviews 3 steel pipe corrosion protection methods utilizing cathodic protection.

Cathodic protection, when applied properly, is an effective means to prevent corrosion of underground plant piping. For many underground applications, such as pipelines, cathodic protection system design is relatively straightforward. Plant and facility environments, however, are not simple applications. Plants have congested underground piping systems in a tightly spaced footprint. The presence of copper grounding systems, foundations with reinforcing steel embedded in concrete, conduit, utility piping and structural pilings (either bare or concrete with reinforcing steel) can greatly complicate the task of designing a pipe cathodic protection system.

For simple plant facilities, it is possible to isolate the piping and utilize a conventional galvanic corrosion prevention system. This works only if the plant piping is electrically isolated from other underground structures for the life of the facility. For most plant and facility applications, it is not practical to isolate the piping from the grounding system for the life of the facility. In these cases an impressed current anode system is the only alternative.

3 Methods of Cathodic Protection for Underground Piping and Structures

There are three basic approaches to cathodically protect underground piping and structures using impressed current anodes.

  1. Deep Anode

    One method is the deep anode in which high current capacity anodes are installed from the structure in a deep hole drilled vertically 150+ feet deep. This is analogous to lighting a football field with floodlights.

  2. Shallow Anode or Distributed Anode Bed

    Another method is to use a shallow ground bed anode design where many smaller capacity ground bed anodes are spaced near the intended structures – analogous to street lamps lighting a street.

  3. Linear Anode

    The third method is to place a linear anode parallel to and in close proximity to the piping to be protected discharging current continuously along its length – similar to fiber optic lighting.

This technical bulletin details the advantages of using the linear anode approach for new plant construction projects to protect buried piping in a congested environment. This approach provides the most effective solution both technically and commercially.

Pipe Cathodic Protection Design Issues for Plants & Facilities

Electrical Isolation in a Congested Plant Environment

Electrical isolation is a major concern when designing a CP system for any plant or facility application. Isolating a single cross country pipeline segment from point A to point B is achieved rather simply through the use of electrical isolation flanges/isolation joints that the pipeline operator maintains and tests regularly. The realities of power plant piping networks, on the other hand, significantly complicate electrical isolation. By code, everything above grade in a plant must be grounded, yet it is common to see pipe cathodic protection systems designed based on isolation of the buried piping. Even if electrical isolation is achieved during the plant construction, maintaining electrical isolation over the life of the facility may not be realistic. Given the speed and complexity with which new plants are erected, achieving electrical isolation during construction is no simple task. Once installed, electrical isolation flange kits require regular monitoring and periodic replacement that often does not occur. Piping modifications and other plant maintenance activities can also result in an inadvertent loss of electrical isolation. Cathodic protection for underground piping that relies on electrical isolation should be avoided for plant applications.

Current Distribution – a Critical Issue in Pipe Cathodic Protection Design

Another critical issue that must be properly considered during the design of a CP system for plant applications is the highly congested underground environment and the challenges of achieving thorough current distribution. Buried piping is often located in congested underground areas in close proximity to grounding systems, foundations with reinforcing steel, pilings systems, metallic duct banks and other structures that can shield current from the piping systems that are the intended target of plant cathodic protection systems. It is virtually impossible to assess where current will go in a plant environment – the more remote the anode source, the more difficult it is to assure appropriate current distribution.

Stray Current

When discussing current distribution, it is also important to discuss the potential for stray current. For grounded systems, current that is picked up by other buried metallic structures is merely current that is wasted and not available to protect the intended buried piping structures. For isolated metallic structures, such as foreign pipelines, ductile iron piping systems, and nearby facilities or structures, stray current may be a significant concern. Stray current problems occur when current is picked up on an isolated structure and later discharges off that structure and back to a grounded structure. At the location where stray currents discharge, rapid corrosion may be inadvertently induced on the isolated structure.

The Case for Linear Anode Cathodic Protection System Design

The linear anode solution consists of long runs of linear anode installed parallel and in very close proximity to the piping being protected. The current output is kept very low and is generally consistent across the entire system. A linear anode is in effect a distributed system with an infinite number of anodes spaced continually. This system provides the best technical cathodic protection solution and minimizes the current output required as follows:

  • Does not require electrical isolation.
    Because the linear anode is closely located next to the piping being protected, electrical isolation is not a significant concern. The anode is “closely coupled” to the piping and operates with a very low anode gradient that minimizes any losses to nearby structures including grounding.
  • Assures good current distribution as the anode runs parallel to the piping being protected.
    The linear anode cathodic protection system design eliminates any requirement for supplemental anodes to address areas where remote anodes may be shielded after the CP system is commissioned. Wherever the piping goes, the linear anode follows in the same trench. This also makes it very easy to adapt the design during piping revisions that may change the piping system routing as the plant construction proceeds.
  • Eliminates risks of stray current.
    Close proximity to the piping being protected significantly limits current losses to other structures and virtually eliminates shielding and stray current concerns. This also significantly reduces the total current requirements for the system, reducing the rectifier requirements.
  • Access issues – the linear anode is installed in very close proximity to the piping that is to be protected.
    This minimizes the risk of third party damage and reduces trenching required for buried cable. If installed in conjunction with the piping, the anode can be placed in the same trench as the piping affording the anode protection by the piping itself from external damage. This is a very cost effective cathodic protection installation when installed concurrently with the piping.
  • Ease of installation – when installed alongside the piping as the piping is being installed, the installation is simply a matter of laying the anode cable in the trench.

Our experts are happy to answer your questions about cathodic protection for underground piping.

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Video Demonstrates Cathodic Protection System Installation

Iron Gopher® Impressed Current Linear Anode System designed for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is installed beneath an above ground storage tank (AST)

Chalfont, PA  – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions recently released a video showing the installation of the company’s Iron Gopher impressed current linear anode system at the site of an above ground storage tank in Texas.

Trenching to install cathodic protection systems may not be feasible for applications such as cross country pipelines, congested industrial environments and under above ground storage tanks. For these horizontal directional drilling applications, a linear anode with superior mechanical strength is required. The Iron Gopher with Kynex® technology is the only impressed current linear anode designed specifically for cathodic protection in horizontal directional drilling applications.

“As another example, Colonial Pipeline installed several thousand feet of our Iron Gopher® linear anode at an HDD project in NE Georgia,” said Ted Huck, VP of Sales for MATCOR. “With its unique design and greatly increased strength, Iron Gopher is superior to anything seen in the market for cathodic protection in HDD applications.”

Learn about MATCOR’s complete cathodic protection installation services.

About MATCOR

Linear Anode Cathodic Protection Presentation at NACE UAE

MATCOR to Present on Impressed Current Linear Anode Cathodic Protection at NACE UAE Corrosion Conference in Abu Dhabi

Chalfont, PA (April 27, 2015) – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrShailesh Javia, MATCOR, Inc. to present on linear anode cathodic protection at NACE UAE.osion engineering solutions will present a paper exploring the use of flexible impressed current linear anodes to minimize current densities for a wide range of cathodic protection applications at the annual NACE UAE Corrosion Conference held at the St. Regis in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates May 12-14, 2015.

Flexible Impressed Current Linear Anode Cathodic Protection
Shailesh Javia, MATCOR
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 3:35-4:00 p.m. in Al Mudhaif 1

The presentation explores flexible impressed current linear anode cathodic protection that extends the benefits of linear anodes for various CP applications. To minimize current distribution challenges, the linear anodes are designed utilizing multiple internal connections, which provides redundancy and protection against uneven anode consumption, minimizes current densities and allows placement in close proximity to the structure. The linear anode is simple to install, requiring only a small trench, and is ideal for congested areas and tight spaces. See below for the complete abstract.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shailesh Javia serves as International Director for MATCOR and has over 22 years experience focused on corrosion engineering and cathodic protection. His diverse knowledge and experience includes designing cathodic protection systems, managing turnkey CP projects and conducting commissioning surveys for cross country and city gas pipelines, tanks and vessels, tank bottoms, and industrial facilities including fertilizer, petrochemical and power plants, and refineries. Mr. Javia is a certified NACE Cathodic Protection Technologist, has successfully completed the NACE Direct Assessment Course and has presented several papers at NACE and ASME conferences.

ABSTRACT: Applications of Impressed Current Linear Anodes in Cathodic Protection

Flexible impressed current linear anodes can extend the benefits
 of linear anodes to a wide range 
of cathodic protection applications. Tight spaces, high traffic areas, poorly coated pipelines, new construction tank bottom, tank bottom retrofits, reinforcing steel-in-concrete, sheet pile walls or inside large diameter pipes – are all good examples of linear anode cathodic protection applications.

Linear anodes handle current distribution challenges by minimizing current densities, in addition to placement in close proximity to the structure being protected from corrosion. Innovative design utilizing 
multiple internal connections provides redundancy, protects against uneven
 anode consumption and minimizes
 voltage drop.

Linear anodes can simply 
be laid alongside a new pipeline; cable
 plowed next to an existing pipeline, or 
installed utilizing horizontal directional 
drilling (HDD) under an existing
 structure. Linear anodes require only a small trench for installation, ideal for congested areas and minimizing landowner “right of way” issues.

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Oil sands critics target a new concern – pipelines

The crude oil that is pulled from Canada’s oil sands is thick and heavy, a black tar-like substance that takes large amounts of energy and effort to make into end products like gasoline and diesel. Even some people in the Alberta energy industry describe it as “nasty” stuff.

But is it also dangerous?

Over the past few months, critics of the oil sands have taken a new tack. They are now arguing that oil sands crude, which contains more contaminants than traditional sources of crude, poses a risk to pipeline safety – and they’ve linked the recent spate of North American oil pipeline spills to what they say is the corrosive content of oil sands products.

It’s an argument that began with environmental groups, but has now been taken up by legislators. Last week, for example, Alcee Hastings, a U.S. Democratic congressman, warned that “the risk of an oil spill from these tar sands pipelines is very real.”

“The oil eats away the pipelines, compromising them and leading to frequent spills,” he said during a debate on the proposed TransCanada Corp. Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast if it is approved. That echoes a February report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an influential U.S. environmental group, which called oil sands crude a “highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable” substance that “may be putting America’s public safety at risk.”

That conclusion has always been contradicted by industry, which has maintained that oil sands crude is safe. TransCanada, for example, has argued that it simply would not place at risk its $13-billion Keystone line by filling it with a dangerous substance. Yet the debate highlights the political obstacles that exist for the project, a crucial piece of infrastructure for getting the ever-rising volume of Alberta oil to market.

The two sides have left little middle ground between them. So who is right?

Interviews with academics, engineers and federal officials make clear that oil sands crude does indeed appear to pose additional risks. But those risks are largely borne by refineries that have had to deal with a dirtier and more corrosive substance than industry has been accustomed to.

In pipelines, independent sources suggest that the danger is substantially lower. Indeed, in decades past, thick bitumen was actually used to coat pipelines as protection against corrosion. And pipelines are partly shielded by the fact that they operate nearer room temperatures. Refineries, in contrast, process crude at up to 400 degrees Celsius, and the fierce heat promotes a series of chemical interactions that don’t happen at lower temperatures.

The corrosion question largely surrounds the properties of diluted bitumen, also called “dilbit.”

Oil sands producers generally produce two different products. One, “synthetic crude,” has passed through a sort of pre-refinery, called an upgrader, to transform it into a lighter substance that contains far fewer impurities. Dilbit comes from producers that don’t run upgraders. Instead, they take the oil sands crude and, with minimal processing, thin it with a lighter oil and pump it into a pipeline. As a result, it contains far higher levels of numerous noxious substances, including sulphur, acids, salts and sediments.

That in itself has raised some concerns.

Take sulphur, for example. Oil sands crude contains sulphur levels up to 10 times higher than other oil. But in dilbit, the sulphur is locked up with heavy oil molecules. As a result, it is largely harmless inside a pipeline, said Harvey Yarranton, a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Calgary.

“You’d have to put it into reaction temperatures to release that sulphur – and those are above 300 Celsius,” he said.

Acids and salts are also found in substantially elevated levels in dilbit. But both substances are “not corrosive under pipeline conditions,” according to Natural Resources Canada, whose researchers have studied the corrosiveness of different oils. Acids need temperatures above 200 Celsius for corrosion to occur, the government said in a statement.

One area of concern remains sediments – little bits of sand that are embedded in oil. Industry measures these in pounds per 1,000 barrels. Conventional oil might measure 30 to 50 pounds per 1,000 barrels. Scott Bieber, a marketing manager with oil field services giant Baker Hughes Inc., has seen oil sands bitumen hit 500.

Sediments can contribute to corrosion in pipelines – and they have become a significant menace in refineries, where they have proven difficult to remove and help foul wastewater, Mr. Bieber said.

And environmental critics say that with the expansion in the oil sands, more study needs to be done of the effects dilbit has on pipelines. In particular, the thickness of oil sands crude – it’s far more viscous than conventional oil – creates friction inside pipelines that creates higher temperatures.

With Keystone XL, TransCanada has predicted temperatures as high as 55 Celsius. That remains far from the heat in a refinery, but higher temperatures do speed corrosion, and Anthony Swift, an energy analyst with the National Resources Defense Council, said governments both in Canada and the U.S. should take notice.

“There’s enough information out there about [the risks of] this stuff that merits a study,” he said. “The government should be protecting the public, and it’s a huge concern when they turn a blind eye to a potential danger.”

SOURCE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/oil-sands-critics-target-a-new-concern-pipelines/article2116408/

Pipeline with Coating Degradation benefit from Deep Well Anode Solution

MATCOR Mini-Deep Anode
The MATCOR Mini-Deep Anode will protect the system for 20 years or more

An International Petrochemical Company contracted with MATCOR to review assessment data gathered more than 10 years earlier.  MATCOR’s initial findings showed the existing Cathodic Protection System was struggling to maintain criteria.  To determine the exact cause of the problems MATCOR launched a comprehensive survey of 20 miles of 26 inch pipeline.

From the initial review of the pipeline, it became clear that the existing Cathodic Protection system did not have the capacity to distribute DC current effectively. MATCOR’s technicians performed Close Interval Surveys (CIS), Pipeline Current Mapping (PCM), and Direct Current Voltage Gradient (DCVG) surveys.  In addition, MATCOR took soil samples and had them analyzed, measuring pH, sulfates and sulfides, chlorides and moisture content.  The results corresponded with the smart pig runs, which further validated the testing and data analysis.  The survey revealed significant coating degradation.

It was clear from the current requirement test results that a new Cathodic Protection System was necessary.  The client’s choice was MATCOR’s patented Mini-Deep Anode System, which is very easily installed without disruption to the pipeline.

In all, 15 Mini-Deep Anodes were used to protect 40-plus miles of pipeline and connecting laterals.

MATCOR strategically placed ground beds approximately one mile east and west of the rectifiers.  On a new pipeline, each MATCOR Mini-Deep Anode can protect many miles of line, but since these pipelines experienced coating degradation, MATCOR designed the system to protect the existing lines from low structure to electrolyte potentials.

Upon completion of the testing and commissioning of the rectifier and ground bed system, this pipeline system, with associated laterals, was able to achieve -850mV OFF potential throughout its entire length.

The client was concerned that the 100mV criterion would have to be used in certain areas due to poor coating conditions; however, this was not the case.  MATCOR achieved complete integrity by incorporating the correct combination of engineering, design, and cooperation from the client.

The Mini-Deep Anodes will protect the system for 20 years or more.

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