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An interesting article was published in a recent issue of the NACE Materials Performance magazine.


Researchers used modelling tools to design effective cathodic protection systems that address challenging seawater conditions and coating damage from ice abrasion.


According to researchers Min-Jeong Lee, senior engineer, and Chae-Seon Lim, principal research engineer, both in the Material & Coating Research Department at Samsung Heavy Industries, Co., Ltd, South Korea, the performance of a CP system for a ship's external hull is dependent on several factors, including the geometry of the ship's hull, the resistivity of the surrounding seawater, the chemicals in the seawater, and the degree of coating damage. The ICCP design for many commercial vessels is often based on current density (CD) calculations and the designers' experience rather than an analytical method. For an icebreaker travelling in Arctic conditions, the researchers note, this traditional approach to CP design may not result in an adequate amount of corrosion protection for the hull in this environment.


To determine the optimum ICCP design for the external hull of an icebreaker, the researchers explored a modelling approach using computational analysis based on the boundary element method (BEM). Lee comments that modelling tools are often used to design ICCP for stationary offshore structures such as oil and gas production platforms; floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) units; and semi-submersibles.


Using computational analysis and modelling was successful in determining that an ICCP system design is effective for a vessel exposed to Arctic seawater conditions. Going forward, Lee expects more use of CP modelling when designing ICCP systems for ship hulls, particularly those headed for the Arctic.  


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