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Internal Cathodic Protection (ICP)

Last updated: February 23, 2018

What Does Internal Cathodic Protection (ICP) Mean?

Internal cathodic protection is a type of cathodic protection that is applied to internal structures like process vessels and storage tanks. It can be used to evaluate the levels of corrosion protection on almost all types of vessels or tanks, such as on grade above ground tanks for storage and process drums.

With this type of cathodic protection, corrosion control on metal surfaces can be achieved, which greatly benefits a number of industries like marine, gas, and mining.

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Corrosionpedia Explains Internal Cathodic Protection (ICP)

Structures such as vessels and tanks that are coated internally are still at risk for harmful environmental conditions such as corrosion. This can be solved or prevented by the application of internal cathodic protection to these structures as it offers effective protection against degradation. However, in order for this type of protection to work, an adequate amount of electrolyte solution should be used and this can be any type of cooling or potable water as well as industrial liquids.

This form of cathodic protection can be installed within containers like cooling or heating elements and separating walls. It can be integrated in the cathodic protection system as well. The main principle of this type of protection is to guard all metals that are in contact with bulk electrolyte. It is mainly used to protect all metallic structures that are submerged in water or buried deep in the soil. Thus, internal cathodic protection cannot be utilized to protect structures from atmospheric corrosion, but can be highly efficient in preventing stress corrosion cracking (SCC).

The structures that benefit from internal cathodic protection include interior surfaces of water circulating and storage tank systems. In such cases, either impressed current anodes or sacrificial anodes that are mostly mixed metal oxides or titanium are utilized. In conjunction with the design, number of anodes and deliberate arrangements, adequate current is dispersed equally for effective protection against corrosion.


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