Zinc Anodes In The Oil And Gas Industry

  • Author: Admin
  • Date: October 23, 2017

Zinc anodes protect the metal parts of submerged structures by inhibiting the rate at which the metal corrodes. Sacrificial anodes are the main component in cathodic protection, a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal by setting it up as the cathode of an electrochemical cell. In other words, a sacrificial metal that corrodes more easily is set on the surface of whichever metal needs to be protected. Since this metal corrodes more easily, the metal underneath is protected. Oil and gas industries both benefit from this electrochemical response, because both require the use of structures that may be submerged underwater for extended periods of time. Two metals submerged underwater create a kind of cell that corrodes over time, a process known as galvanic corrosion.

Rather than preventing the process of corrosion entirely, zinc anodes or sacrificial anodes, known colloquially as “zincs”, override the galvanic corrosion between the two metals they are designed to protect. Zinc is especially helpful to this process because of how easily it corrodes, which makes it the best choice for sea water where resistance from electrical circuits is lower. This, in turn, makes it especially useful for the petrochemical industry, in which various types of equipment, including rigs and drills, need to able to operate well below the surface of the earth, and even at the ocean floor.

Zinc anode suppliers aid the oil and gas industries by supplying protection to the surface of submerged parts. Zinc plating takes advantage of zinc’s propensity to create a protective film over key parts, including galvanized fasteners and pipeline fittings. This greatly reduces the rate at which otherwise exposed metals will corrode. Furthermore, zinc is an ideal choice because it has the highest negative electrical voltage. In other words, in most cases zinc offers better protection against corrosion than other similar metals used for the same purpose, including aluminum and magnesium.

For petrochemicals, zinc anodes have long been used to protect both offshore oil platforms, fuel pipelines, and onshore oil casings. In many cases, the environmental damage caused by stress cracking due to corrosion can be devastating to local communities. Zinc-based galvanic anodes protect our environment, while allowing us to extract the fuel we need to power our world.