Category Archives: MMO Anodes

Successful Sled Anode Installation Provides Houston Ship Terminal Corrosion Protection

This article describes a recently completed sled anode installation for ship terminal corrosion prevention on the water side of a dock structure along the Houston Ship Channel.

The project involved protecting a new combi pile wall being installed in front of an older existing conventional sheet pile wall nearing the end of its useful life. The combi wall utilizes large diameter steel pilings as the primary structure combined with conventional Z-pilings as the secondary structure.

Sled Anode ready to ship from MATCOR’s Chalfont, PA manufacturing facility

Project Details

For this project, there were twenty-seven 60” diameter steel pilings being driven to a depth of 100 ft and spaced approximately 10 feet apart.

This cathodic protection system design, prepared by another CP company, called for twenty-five discreet shallow vertical anodes to protect the land side area between the new and old dock structure and two sled anodes to protect the new water side.

The interior side of the existing wall was already being cathodically protected with a deep anode system.

MATCOR was successful in securing the contract for the supply and installation of the new sled anode system. We utilized MATCOR’s Sled Anode assembly consisting of mixed metal oxide coated, titanium tubular anodes installed with custom fabricated concrete ends. In addition, we utilized a Kynar/HMWPE #1 cabling system installed in a flexible protective black HDPE pipe.

Another Sled Anode Project for Jetty Piling Corrosion Prevention »

Benefits of MATCOR’s Sled Anodes for Ship Terminal Corrosion Prevention

Each of the sled anodes include lifting lugs for ease of installation and floating locator buoys to allow for temporary removal in the event of dredging operations.

The sled anodes weighed approximately 5800 lbs each to assure that the sleds remained anchored in place along the ship channel floor.

MATCOR sled anode installation for ship terminal corrosion prevention along the Houston ship channel
Installation of sled anode for ship terminal cathodic protection using a barge mounted crane

The use of sled anodes makes for an easy installation and minimizes the need for divers – in this case the use of divers was only needed to help route the cabling back to shore.

Each sled anode was designed for 75 amps output for 30 years continuous service in seawater. The two sled anodes are being powered off a common rectifier configured with an RMU for remote monitoring of the systems operations.

These sleds were installed using a qualified marine sub-contractor who provided a properly sized crane mounted on a barge to facilitate the installation.


Have questions or need a quote for ship terminal or other near shore structure corrosion prevention? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

MATCOR MMO ANODE SURCHARGE

In response to the surging hyperinflation of global iridium prices, MATCOR is instituting, effective February 1st, a temporary surcharge on the price of all our MMO anode products.

The surcharge is necessary to offset the significant increases in MMO coated materials, specifically iridium.

The surcharge varies depending on the product and its MMO cost component and will be shown as a separate line item in our material proposals.

Learn more about the iridium pricing surge at the link below.

Global Iridium Pricing Crisis »

Price Quotes for MMO Anodes

Additionally, MATCOR is reducing our quote validity dates to two weeks and stipulating that the price validity is based on the price of Iridium remaining below 4500/oz. Should the price of Iridium exceed 4500/oz, MATCOR will review and confirm validity of the pricing at time of order placement.

We regret that these measures must be taken, but these are extraordinary times. MATCOR is committed to working with you to minimize the cost impact of the global iridium price surge.

This includes reviewing your project needs and evaluating alternate anode solutions.

Please contact us with any questions or to review existing quotes or alternatives for your upcoming cathodic protection projects.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

Global Iridium Pricing Crisis – FAQ

Iridium Price Increase cathodic protection

Surging Iridium prices have shocked the cathodic protection industry. We have put together the following FAQs to explain what iridium is and how it is used in cathodic protection materials.

What is Iridium?

Iridium is a rare earth metal that is, as the name implies, quite rare. It is considered part of the Platinum Group of metals as it is found as a trace element in the extraction of platinum. It is the second densest, and the most highly corrosion-resistant of all metals.

How is iridium used in cathodic protection?

It is the primary active element for all Mixed Metal Oxide (MMO) anode coatings used in oxygenated environments which include coke, soil, mud, fresh water – basically anything but seawater which is a chlorinated environment.

How expensive is iridium?

Up until a few weeks ago, Iridium prices were generally stable throughout 2020 in the range of $1500 to $1700 per ounce. In mid-December the price of Iridium skyrocketed over 200% in the space of a few short weeks. This hyperinflation in the cost of Iridium has caught the CP industry by surprise, and MMO anode suppliers are being forced to dramatically raise prices because of the significant additional costs of Iridium Oxide used as the active catalytic element.Iridium price increase January 2021
SOURCE: dailymetalprice.com

Why is the price of iridium skyrocketing?

There are a couple of factors that have created this pricing crisis. First, most of the world’s Iridium comes from a few Platinum mines in South Africa, and with the global pandemic having recently hit South Africa very hard with a new and more virulent strain of Covid-19, the mining output has diminished significantly. We hope this is a short-term supply issue. The second factor has to do with the European Union announcing a major investment in Hydrogen as a green fuel for electrical generation. A new membrane technology (PEM) uses iridium as a catalyst to generate hydrogen. The announcement led to several speculators buying up Iridium supplies and driving the price up.

What happens next and how long will this last?

It is impossible to predict how high the price of Iridium will rise before reaching a peak, how long the pricing remains at these elevated levels, and what the stable price in the future might be for Iridium. What is certain is that the supply of Iridium will adjust as the mines in South Africa go back to production and as the elevated price leads to more supply being developed to meet the demand. Historically the supply of Iridium has always been available to meet the demand and when that equilibrium is restored, we can expect the price to drop and stabilize.

What is MATCOR doing to address this issue?

MATCOR is applying a surcharge on all MMO Anode products effective February 1st. We will continue to monitor the MMO situation and work with our suppliers to maintain our supplies and contain our costs as best we can. We hope that this is a temporary situation that will resolve itself in the next several months.

Are there alternatives for cathodic protection that do not utilize iridium?

We still believe that MMO anodes remain the best anode material when considering the outstanding track record of this anode, its dimensionally stable properties, and its long service life. However, MATCOR can also supply conventional anodes including high silicon cast iron and graphite anodes. We are also evaluating Platinum anodes which were the original dimensionally stable catalytic anode before the advent of MMO, although platinum has its limitations and is simply not as robust an anode material.
If you have further questions please feel free to contact your local MATCOR sales representative or visit our website and submit your question there

Effect on MATCOR MMO Anode Pricing »

If you have further questions please feel free to contact your local MATCOR sales representative or submit your question below.

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Natural Gas Fueling US Steel Competitiveness

Cheap and abundant Marcellus Shale gas derived from US fracking technology helps to drive competitiveness for a wide range of industries in the United States. This is especially true for the US Steel industry, and MATCOR’s recent project in Western Pennsylvania in the rolling hills of the Monongahela Valley is a great example of this.

US Steel Irvin Plant

Nestled on a hilltop 250 feet above the valley is US Steel’s Mon Valley Works–Irvin Plant. This hot strip mill in the Pittsburgh West Mifflin suburbs first opened in 1938. The hilltop site required more than 4.4 million cubic yards of earth to be moved, more than any other project other than the Panama Canal. In May of 2019, US Steel announced plans to invest $1 billion dollars at the site to expand it and to build a cogeneration power facility expected to be operational by 2022.

MATCOR was selected by US Steel to install, commission and test an impressed current cathodic protection system to protect the critical coke oven gas (COG) product pipelines mixed at the West Mifflin COG facility. The coke oven gas is a mixture of commercial natural gas and recovered waste coke gas. This blending of natural gas with recovered gas reduces costs and improves US Steel’s energy efficiency. The pipeline, affectionately called the Green Monster, traverses the valley feeding various facilities. Mostly above grade, the pipeline goes below grade in numerous locations.

US Steel Cathodic Protection System Installation

MATCOR’s MMP 3605 mixed metal oxide based canister anodes were selected as the new cathodic protection system anodes to protect the buried piping. Fifteen anodes were installed in individual 20-foot depth augered holes and connected to a #2 HMWPE buried header cable requiring approximately 1500 linear feet of trenching. The project included site specific safety training, regular coordination with site personnel and site restoration (seed, straw and fertilizer) after completion of the installation.

The project was a tremendous success and MATCOR is proud to have been able to partner with US Steel for their buried pipe corrosion protection.


Have questions or need a quote for cathodic protection materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
Contact a Corrosion Expert

What is The Best Anode For Low Temperature Seawater Applications?

A MATCOR customer recently inquired about mixed metal oxide (MMO) anodes for low temperature seawater environments amid a concern over the formation of chlorine hydrates.  

This article describes a special low temperature MMO anode formulation that addresses these concerns. MATCOR is currently working on two projects that will potentially benefit from this modified MMO anode.

What is the best anode for low temperature seawater applications?
What is the best anode for low temperature seawater applications?

What concerns are there over the use of MMO anodes in cold water environments?

As a general rule, MMO anodes perform exceptionally well in chlorinating environments such as seawater.  Almost all MATCOR anodes are manufactured using a standard MMO coating formulation that is designed to operate efficiently in a wide range of electrolytes and environments.

In low temperature seawater, however, there is the possibility that high localized concentrations of chlorine can be formed in conjunction with a significantly reduced pH environment. 

Chlorine hydrate is a chlorine molecule caged in 8 molecules of water.  The generation of chlorine hydrate is strongly related to localized mass transport limitations which are greater at lower temperatures. There is no direct impact of chlorine hydrates to the titanium anode substrate or the anode coating. However, the presence of significant amounts of chlorine hydrate may result in inhomogeneous current distribution due to the differences in the conductivity. This could impact both the effectiveness of the current distribution being applied to the cathodically protected structure, and, over the long term, the wear rate or life of the coating.

Localized factors have a significant effect on the conditions that result in chloride hydrate formation. In addition, the properties of the MMO coating can have an impact.

MATCOR’s standard MMO formulation is suitable for low temperature chlorinated environments.

A modified formulation provides the best anode for low temperature seawater applications

By modifying the formulation, we can lower the oxygen overpotential to promote greater oxygen generation and less chlorine. This modified formulation reduces the quantity of chlorine gas while favoring the generation of oxygen.

This “cold” MMO formulation in low temperatures can be expected to reduce chlorine and boost oxygen generation by as much as 15%.

The other factor that has a large influence is current density, as it is this current density that determines the quantities of both oxygen and chlorine gas that are evolved. Reducing current density reduces the quantity of chlorine gas being generated.

In summary, MATCOR’s standard MMO coating formulation is a broad-based formulation that works in a wide range of electrolytes.

For areas of significant concern due to a combination of low temperature electrolyte and high current density, a special low temperature formulation is available. This formula reduces chlorine generation in favor of oxygen, helping to reduce any concerns over low temperature and chlorine hydrate formation.


If you have questions, or would like information on MATCOR’s special MMO anodes for low temperature applications, please contact us at the link below.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

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