Cathodic protection (CP) is an electro-chemical technique which can keep a metallic asset, such as a pipeline, tank, ship hull, pier or wharf, from corrosion. This type of system has been federally mandated on all pipelines and tanks which carry hazardous materials since the early 1970’s.
Coatings are the primary defense against corrosion control, however there are no perfect coatings, and they tend to degrade over time. Cathodic protection covers all areas that are not protected by adequate coatings, thus providing total corrosion protection over the entire asset surface.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) was created within the U.S. DOT in 1994, greatly expanding the types of testing and strict record keeping that pipeline operators must control. PHMSA has been given the power to fine companies for violations of their requirements. As these regulations become more stringent and testing requirements more technical, it makes sense to subcontract these services to full-time corrosion control professionals.