Protecting underground pipelines from corrosion in sub-zero environments

Oct 01, 2013

Northern Canada's permafrost and semi-permafrost environment is a huge challenge for designing and engineering underground pipelines, and a critical aspect of protecting both the pipeline and this sensitive environment involves the design of an effective corrosion protection system.

One of the most common methods to protect buried infrastructure—such as oil and gas transmission pipelines —from is the application of an external coating.

"Although great advances have been made within the past 30 years in terms of coatings reliability and longevity, it's still desirable to implement a back-up plan: cathodic protection," says Paul Duchesne, manager of media relations for Natural Resources Canada.

What is cathodic protection? It's a method used to protect buried pipelines from corrosion, which involves attaching sacrificial anodes to a 's coated steel. Sacrificial anodes are more electrically active than steel, so corrosive currents exit through the anodes rather than the steel.

Since the implications of partially frozen ground on a pipeline's cathodic protection system weren't entirely clear, Natural Resources Canada researchers decided to explore and evaluate the use of cathodic protection in permafrost regions.

In a paper published in Corrosion journal, the researchers explain how cathodic protection systems function at low temperature and describe the various aspects of cathodic protection application in sub-zero temperatures.

The researchers concluded that the application of cathodic protection systems may provide long-term protection of the infrastructure from corrosion when combined with high-performance coatings—as long as the system is designed and operated to overcome high electrical resistance frozen phases.

"Ultimately, we hope that our research will contribute to the safe and reliable operation of underground infrastructure such as oil and gas transmission pipelines, production facilities, and storage tanks," says Duchesne.

Explore further: Automakers hire rocket firm to probe air bag problems

More information: The paper, "Applicability of Cathodic Protection for Underground Infrastructures Operating at Sub-Zero Temperatures," by Sankara Papavinasam, Tharani Pannerselvam, and Alex Doiron, appears in NACE International's journal, Corrosion, Sep. 2013, Vol. 69, No. 9, pp. 936-945. See: dx.doi.org/10.5006/0881

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Poisoning' corrosion brings stainless magnesium closer

Aug 19, 2013

(Phys.org) —In a discovery that could have major implications for the aerospace, automotive and electronics industries, scientists have found a way to dramatically reduce the corrosion rate of lightweight ...

Fitness test for corrosion protection coatings

Jul 01, 2013

Internal coatings in the different sections of oil treatment plants are subjected to a variety of stresses. By conducting comparative tests, researchers are analyzing which materials are best suited to each ...

Graphene is thinnest known anti-corrosion coating

Feb 22, 2012

New research has established the "miracle material" called graphene as the world's thinnest known coating for protecting metals against corrosion. Their study on this potential new use of graphene appears ...

Corrosion protection for metal artifacts

Aug 30, 2012

The Mediterranean region is home to numerous museums and historical sites housing metal objects that provide an invaluable window into the past. EU funding enabled development of state-of-the-art corrosion ...

Deep sea pipelines to green gas production

Oct 10, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Queensland researchers are working to tap into a wealth of natural gas resources located in distant, deep-ocean fields off the coast of Western Australia.

Recommended for you

Florentine basilica gets high-tech physical

20 hours ago

Late last year, two University of California, San Diego students set out for Florence, Italy, to diagnose a patient that had no prior medical record, couldn't be poked or prodded in any way, and hadn't been ...

Radar sensors support parking management

21 hours ago

Siemens is researching the use of sensor networks in an advanced parking management solution that will hopefully counter the increasing parking space crisis in cities. The online magazine Pictures of the ...

SatisFactory project for more attractive factories launched

22 hours ago

Known as either "Industrial Revolution 4.0" or as "Industrial Renaissance", the need for visionary industrial approaches is widely recognized in the European Union. SatisFactory, a three-year research project funded by the ...

Life-saving train design is rarely used

Feb 25, 2015

(AP)—Nearly a decade ago, the U.S. secretary of transportation stood at the site of a horrendous commuter train crash near downtown Los Angeles and called for the adoption of a new train car design that ...

Lexus tops auto dependability survey

Feb 25, 2015

(AP)—Lexus is the most dependable car brand for the fourth consecutive year in rankings that increasingly hinge on high-tech features.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.