A field study of the effectiveness of sacrificial anodes in ballast tanks of merchant ships
De Baere, Kris × Verstraelen, Helen Lemmens, Lucien Lenaerts, Silvia Dewil, Raf Van Ingelgem, Yves Potters, Geert #
Springer Japan KK
Journal of Marine Science and Technology vol:19 issue:1 pages:116-123
Sacrificial anodes have become a standard practice for the protection of ballast tanks of merchant vessels against corrosive damage. A well protected tank should extend the life span of a ship and consequently enhances its economic value. An in situ survey comprising more than 100 merchant vessels provided the opportunity to measure the impact of these anodes on the life expectancy of these vessels. Contrary to the general belief of these anodes’ beneficial effect, no significant difference was found in our observations in terms of corrosion occurrence between ship populations with and without sacrificial anodes, across all ship ages. This may be explained by the highly variable conditions and the complex geometry in a ballast tank severely impede optimal and straightforward installation of these anodes in these tanks. Also, poorly placed anodes in it may harm the integrity of the coating of the tank. We therefore plead for uniform and clear rules on anode installation and inspection.