Corrosion is a prevalent problem in the marine industry, costing billions of dollars each year. Marine anodes are extremely important as their anti-corrosion properties provide a solution that prolongs the service life of vessels and structures and minimizes the need for maintenance and repair.
Marine vessels are constantly in contact with seawater, which causes metal to corrode. If not properly treated, metal will eventually deteriorate. The same scenario applies to parts and components, including ballast tanks, jetties, and propeller shafts. For this reason, marine anodes are essential when dealing with salt or brackish water.
Although zinc is commonly used for corrosion protect in such industries as power generation (transmission towers) and the automotive industry, its value to the marine industry has long been recognized. The marine industry also depends on anodes made of aluminum. For a brackish water environment, they are a great alternative to zinc anodes in that they tend to last slightly longer. Ideally, Zinc anodes are used in salt water, Aluminum anodes in brackish water and Magnesium anodes in fresh water.
The Way That Marine Anodes Work
Marine anodes are commonly referred to as “sacrificial anodes.” The reason is that they actually sacrifice themselves (cathodic protection) to protect marine vessels from corrosion. Corrosion is a natural occurrence caused by small electric currents that pass between the submerged metal and seawater. Once an anode is affixed to that metal, currents become routed to the anode, which has a higher reactive level than the metal on which it is affixed. The anode undergoes corrosion, thus saving the metal surface.
The useful life of an anode varies depending on the wide range of conditions to which they are exposed. It is important to monitor them continually and replace them as soon as they start to deteriorate.
A Simple Solution That Protects Your Investment
Anodes are found in a number of marine environments, including ships, docks and oil platforms, and are welded or bolted directly onto the metal structure for cathodic protection. They are well worth the investment since anodes provide a cost-effective solution that prevents the corrosion of extremely expensive watercrafts, marine vessels and equipment.
If you need zinc anodes, be sure to work with a reputable manufacturer for optimal quality. Speak to a manufacturer’s representative to ensure the right selection is made.