The efficiency of cathodic protection is driven by various environmental parameters, the main ones being: the geometry of the protected structure, the electrolyte resistivity, and of course the steel polarization curve. The aim of this study is to assess the influence of those parameters on the current distribution and on the potential attenuation. In particular, an investigation will be made into the apparently contradictory influences of the resistivity. For this investigation, two configurations of CP system applied to storage tanks bottom are studied by 3D modeling. The first is a tank bottom for which a membrane is installed a few tens of cm underneath, with an anodic grid system located in the confined space. The second is the usual design where no membrane is installed below the tank and where anodes are located around the periphery of the tank.

Key words: Cathodic protection, current distribution, potential attenuation, numerical modeling

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