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Platinum Metals Rev., 1987, 31, (1), 25

Corrosion Protection Conference

  • P.C.S.H.

Some four hundred corrosion engineers from many countries assembled in Birmingham, England, during November for “UK Corrosion ’86”. The conference involved a varied programme of lectures and an exhibition, and not surprisingly cathodic protection was featured in both. While interest in cathodic protection for the North Sea oil industry is at a lower level than in previous years, undoubtedly there is an increased awareness of the opportunities for the cathodic protection of steel reinforcement bars in concrete.

A paper authored by B. S. Wyatt of Global Cathodic Protection Limited, Telford, and D. J. Irvine of Tarmac Construction Limited, Wolverhampton included descriptions of many of the presently available systems.

Much interest attaches to mesh anodes, in the form of rolls of a wire netting-type material consisting of a fine titanium mesh coated with electrocatalyst. The electrocatalysts in use include ruthenium and iridium. Although the weight of iridium used per plan square metre may be as little as one gram, the likely area of concrete that may receive some form of cathodic protection of the underlying rebars suggests that this application is likely to require significant quantities of ruthenium and iridium.

In spite of the technical difficulties of applying cathodic protection to some concrete structures, and the need to prove durability and commercial viability of individual systems, there was a general air of optimism that the market for cathodic protection systems for reinforcement bars in concrete was just about to expand.