Category:774 Cathodic Protection

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Figures
Example Blank Cathodic System Evaluation Form
Cathodic System Evaluation Example 1
Cathodic System Evaluation Example 2
Details of Mesh System in Slab (3 pages)
Details of Slotted System in Slab (2 pages)
Wiring and Other Details (2 pages)

Contents

774.1 Definition, Policy and Design Guidelines

774.1.1 Definition

Galvanic Cathodic Protection
Experimental Galvanic Anode for Cathodic Protection of Bridge A12112, 2011
See also: Innovation Library

Cathodic Protection in bridge decks is defined as: the reduction or elimination of corrosion by making the reinforcing steel a cathode by means of an impressed DC current.

Corrosion is the electrochemical process by which iron returns to its natural oxidized state. This process requires four basic elements: an anode (where current flows from, and corrosion occurs), a cathode (where current flows to, and no corrosion occurs), an electrolyte (a medium capable of conducting electric current by ionic flow), and a connection between anode and cathode. Moisture and oxygen along with de-icing salts penetrate the concrete to break down the reinforcement's passive layer and feed corrosion. Rust occupies a larger volume than the original steel, producing bursting pressure on the concrete, resulting in the concrete spalling away from the reinforcement.

Cathodic Protection applies an external electrical current in a sufficient amount to overcome the internal current flow from the anodic areas, thus corrosion of the reinforcement can be eliminated. Cathodic protection can be successfully achieved when a sufficient amount of DC current flows from a sacrificial anode material through the electrolyte (concrete) to the surface of the reinforcing steel, causing it to become cathodic.

774.1.2 Policy

It is extremely important that each cathodic protection system be tested, adjusted and repaired by qualified personnel. This will assure that the system is operating properly and at maximum efficiency while providing effective corrosion control.

Records of the cathodic protection system shall be collected and maintained to provide data for evaluating system performance, documenting system modification, and trouble-shooting the system.

774.1.3 Design Guidelines

For bridges selected for cathodic protection, an impressed current system with overlay will be used. This system divides the bridge slab into zones. Current design guidelines include;

1. The rectifier shall be equipped with one individual rectifier control module per zone.

2. The rectifier modules shall be sized by the contractor to be capable of providing a minimum design current of 1.2 mA per square foot (12.9 mA/m2) and maximum design current of 2.0 mA per square foot (21.5 mA/m2) of deck surface area.

3. The rectifier shall be sized such as to limit the maximum sustained current at the effective surface of contact area between the anode and the concrete to below 10 mA per square foot (107.6 mA/m2) for an anode type mesh system.

4. For anode mesh system installations, the contractor shall provide computations so that the anode voltage drop (IR) shall not exceed 300 mV from the power feed to the furthest point from the power feed.

5. Anodes in any system type are to be placed no closer than 3 in. to slab drains or expansion device armor.

6. Reference electrodes shall be furnished in Class B-1 concrete that has a chloride ion content 5 lb/yd3 (2.97 kg/m3). Each electrode location and installation shall be in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation.

7. Rebar probes if used are typically furnished cast in a beam with a chloride content of 15 lb/yd3. The probe beam is set in deck, in concrete which has no additional added chloride.

8. The negative lead shall be attached to the reinforcing bars by the thermite weld process using the properly sized molds and charges at the locations as shown on the plans and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

9. The perimeter of all patched areas shall be initiated with a 1/2 in. deep saw cut.

10. The contractor shall provide the engineer with computations certifying that the rectifier being installed shall provided the correct current and voltage to properly run the system.

See Appendix for sketches of reference cell, probes, and the system negative connection.

774.2 System Types

There are four types of systems that have been used on selected Missouri bridges. (See Appendix for general sketches)

Type 1 (Coke Breeze)

This system is no longer in use on MoDOT bridges.

Type 2 (Slotted)

This system consists of electrical conductors (anodes in slots) laid out in a grid system with the deck divided into separate zones. Anodes are placed on 8 in. to 16 in. centers and then covered with a conductive grout and the deck overlaid. This system is no longer designed for use on MoDOT bridges. At the time of this revision there were 14 platinum anode bridges in the St. Louis and Kansas City Districts. (These systems are protecting an insignificant portion of the bridge and should be turned off.)

There were two types of slotted systems that were used by MoDOT, they are:

Platinum System - consist of platinum wires set into sawed slots in the top of the concrete deck and filled with a conductive grout.
Platinum Wire and Carbon Strand System - consist of platinum (primary anodes) laid around the circumference of the grid and carbon strand (secondary anodes) laid longitudinal on 12 in. to 16 in. centers on the interior of the grid.
(There are a few bridges with the platinum anode still conducting current on the zones circumference, but all carbon strand anodes have burned and shorted out.)

Type 3 (Mesh)

This system consist of a conductive netting or mesh (anode) placed on top of the deck, divided into separate zones and then the deck overlaid. See section on overlay for specific types.

Raychem System - There are no Raychem systems working and haven’t been for more than 10 years.
Elgard System - A titanium mesh coated with metal oxide anode, which resembles chicken wire netting, placed on top of the concrete deck. At the present time the Elgard Mesh system is the most common anode system used and has been since 1995.
Ribbon Mesh – Ribbon mesh is not allowed for use because installation requires sawing slots in existing decks that is not preferred and there are alternate surface installed anodes available that can be used. Other reasons for not allowing include:
1. Increased costs because of more labor to install,
2. Sawing slots may expose existing reinforcing steel,
3. Concerns that small width ribbon mesh will be damaged during the installation,
4. Does not provide the redundancy like surface mesh that is continuous.

Type 4 (Mounded)

This system is no longer in use on MoDOT bridges. (These systems are protecting an insignificant portion of the bridge and should be turned off.) There were two mounded systems used by MoDOT, they were:

Platinum System - consist of platinum wires spaced on the top of the concrete deck and covered with a mound of conductive grout.
Platinum Wire and Carbon Strand System - consist of platinum (primary anodes) laid around the circumference of the grid and carbon strand (secondary anodes) laid longitudinal on 12 in. to 16 in. centers on the interior of the grid, and both covered with a mound of conductive grout.
(There are a few bridges with the platinum anode still conducting current around the zones circumference, but all the primary carbon strand anodes have burned up and shorted out. These systems are protecting an insignificant portion of the surface area of the bridge and should be turned off. The District can save a little on electric bills and can keep the rectifiers in case they can be used elsewhere or for parts.)

774.3 Overlays

Five types of overlays have been used on Missouri bridges with cathodic protection systems.

Asphaltic Concrete

Was used in a 2 1/4 in. thick layer on the early coke breeze systems and in a 1 1/2 in. layer on some early slotted systems (Asphaltic overlays were not used after January 1986, but have had new surface courses added on some and systems and overlays are still performing).

Latex Modified Concrete, Low Slump Concrete, Silica Fume Concrete

These overlays were used on slotted and mesh systems. Silica Fume, used on only one cathodic system deck, is not recommended for use on cathodic protected bridges, therefore no future use on cathodically protected bridges is planned.

Gemcrete Thin Overlay

(Gemcrete overlay is no longer available and the only bridge deck remaining with it is being rehabilitated in 2006.)

774.4 Maintenance Procedures

The bridge number shall be stenciled on endpost of the bridge. Directly under the bridge number, the words "CATH. PROT." shall be stenciled in black letters approximately 3 in. high.

All maintenance work that may disturb the cathodic protection system shall be discussed with the district office. The maintenance personnel should have at their disposal a complete set of design drawings for the cathodic protection system.

Conduit System Repair

All conduit system components, including wiring, pull boxes, junction boxes, access fittings, expansion fittings and conduit supports, shall be inspected for damage and repaired as soon as possible. (See Appendix for conduit notes)

Anode Repair

If the anode system is damaged, the assigned electrician, should check the system and make necessary recommendations for repair. District personnel should contact the manufacturer of the cathodic system for necessary repair materials on an as needed basis. Photos and an updated bridge layout showing the repaired area shall be kept to aid in future system evaluations. In addition, the following rules shall apply.

Mounded and Slotted Systems - When replacement sections of anode are required, they shall be spliced with sound existing in-place anodes, using factory approved kits.
Elgard Mesh System - When replacement sections of anode are required, it shall be replaced with a two inch overlap on sound in-place mesh. A current distributor bar or bars shall be resistance welded to the replacement mesh and to sound in-place mesh. The ends of the existing mesh at the splice shall be cleaned and tied to the replacement mesh.

Deck Repair

Contact must be made with the district office before overlay and/or deck repairs are done on a cathodically protected bridge. Repairs to the wearing surface should have no adverse effect on the cathodic protection system. Anodes shall be inspected and an electrical continuity test performed on the effected area. When repairing the wearing surface, the debonded area shall be saw cut 1 in. plus or minus. The material in the area shall be removed by lightweight air or electrical hammer and chisel or point. If anodes or supply wires are damaged, they shall be repaired. The appropriate splice kit and procedure shall be used, see anode repair. If sound concrete is removed to allow room for a splice, remove by chipping. In addition, see the following notes for different type systems.

Slotted Systems (Type 2) - All slots should be inspected and an electrical continuity test performed on the affected area.
Surface System (Type 3) and Mounded System (Type 4) - Additional care is required when making saw cuts and removing concrete to keep from damaging the surface anode system.

Rectifier Maintenance

The rectifier unit shall be checked to ensure the bridge number and direction (NBL, SBL, etc., if applicable) and the word "SURFACE" along with the type (TYPE 1, 3, or 4) is stenciled on the outside of the front door of the rectifier cabinet in black letters approximately 3 in. high. The following maintenance procedures shall apply:

Guarantees and warranties shall be used where appropriate.
Maintain all components as specified by the manufacturer.
Maintain anti-corrosion material on components where corrosion may form.
Care shall be taken to provide a relatively moisture free cabinet.
The rectifier shall be clean of dust and other foreign particles.

774.5 Field Data Records

774.5.1 Procedure

The field data collector should have at his disposal a complete set of design drawings for the cathodic protection system.

The Cathodic Protection Record consists of three sections. At the top left of the form is various structure identification information. At the top right of the form are: Section A, the Routine Cathodic System Evaluation, and Section B, the Four Hour Depolarization Evaluation. It is desirable that the routine evaluation be performed monthly for the first year of operation and then every two months thereafter. The four hour depolarization evaluation shall be performed annually in the spring. Upon completion a copy of only the Spring evaluation forms (with sections A and B filled out) shall be forwarded to the Maintenance Division by June 1, each year. The following describes the procedures for completing the form.

774.5.2 Routine Cathodic System Evaluation: Section A

The Routine evaluation is completed to ensure that the cathodic systems are operating at adequate protection levels that will provide the maximum life of the structure.

General Information

Record the Bridge Number, District Number, Date, Observer's Name, and Rectifiers' Serial Number. Record the air temperature, and deck surface condition (wet or dry).

Cathodic System Condition

Visually evaluate all field wires, and rectifier components. The observer shall make comments on the overall appearance of the system and record any problems.

Electrical Readings

Indicate rectifier mode, constant current or constant voltage. If constant voltage is indicated, list those zones. (All new systems should be set to constant current mode.)

Indicate the meter used in evaluation process, external hand held or built in meter.

Fixed Design Parameters

Zone Size (ft2) is calculated from plan dimensions.
Example, 25 ft. wide X 60 ft. long = 1500 ft2
Current Parameters are established from the cathodic system design phase. A lower limit of 0.5 milliAmps / ft2 of zone and an upper limit of 2.0 milliAmps / ft2 of zone area.
Example:
Lower Limit: (1500 ft2) x (0.5 mAmp/ft2) ¸ (1000 mA/Amp) = 0.75 Amps
Upper Limit: (1500 ft2) x (2.0 mAmp/ft2) ¸ (1000 mA/Amp) = 3.00 Amps

Rectifier Settings

Energizing the system consists of the rectifier controller set with each zone on 1.0 mA/ft2 (10.8 mA/m2) of the deck area. After the system has been energized a minimum of 14 days, an E Log-I test is performed. The system is turned off 24 hours prior to performing the E Log I test so the system can depolarize. Upon completion of the E Log I test on each zone, the system is energized and the rectifier controller is adjust if necessary to the results of the E-log- I test. A minimum of 12 hours after completion of the E Log¬-I test, a 4 hour depolarization test on the cathodic protection system should be performed and the system adjusted if necessary. See EPG 774.5.3 Four Hour Depolarization Evaluation: Section B.
Input Voltage (volts) is the DC voltage for each zone measured to the nearest 0.1 volts.
Input Current (Amps) is the current to each zone read from either the external hand held or built in meter. These readings should fall between the upper and lower current parameters established in the Fixed Design Parameter Table. If the input current does not fall between the limits, see Trouble Shooting Checklist.
Input Current Density (milliAmps/sq. ft.) is equal to the Input Current (Amps) divided by the zone size (ft2) multiplied by 1000.

Reference Cell Parameters

Potential Parameters (millivolts) are derived from either an E-log I test or a four hour depolarization test. Copy these values from the most recent four hour depolarization evaluation sheet. If this is a new cathodic protection (CP) system, where a depolarization test has not yet been performed, then copy the values from the initial E-log I. These parameters are to be re-computed after every four depolarization evaluation test. See Four Hour Depolarization Evaluation, Section 5.

Reference Cell and Probe Readings

On Potential (millivolts) is a reference cell voltage reading, for each zone, taken with the system on using either the external hand held or built in meter. Electrically connect the reinforcing steel (system ground) to the positive terminal of the voltmeter and the reference cell lead to the negative (ground) terminal of the voltmeter. Note, these readings will be negative, example, -365 millivolts. Compare each zone reading with the lower and upper potential parameters from Reference Cell Parameter Table. If the reading is not in the given range, see Trouble Shooting Section 6.
Instant Off Potential (millivolts) is the reading taken immediately after the protective current is turned off. This reading should be taken from about 100 to 1000 msec after shutting off the current. Measuring the potential incorrectly could lead to significant error. (See alternate procedure below).
Probe Reading (+ or –) This reading is a voltage polarity which indicates the direction of current flow. This is accomplished by connecting the positive lead of a voltmeter to the probe and the negative lead to the system negative (reinforcing steel). The probe is connected to the reinforcing steel through a 10 Ohm shunt resistor. A negative (–) reading indicates that the reinforcing steel is corroding. A positive (+) reading indicates that the reinforcing steel is protected. Note: A number value is not needed, only the polarity of (+) or (–) is to be recorded.
Alternate Procedure for Obtaining Instant Off Potential (millivolts). The Back EMF (BEMF) reading is the potential generated by the polarization of the anode and the cathode. This voltage has to be overcome by the rectifier before it can force current through the cathodic protection system. BEMF is measured across the rectifier output terminals. The positive lead of the multimeter is connected to the positive output terminal of the rectifier and the negative lead is connected to the negative terminal of the output waveform. A multi-meter such as a Fluke 87 can be used for the purpose. The minimum reading should be measured using a 1 millisecond window. On the filtered rectifiers, the current must be interrupted to make the measurement.
Example Blank Cathodic System Evaluation Form

774.5.3 Four Hour Depolarization Evaluation: Section B

A Four Hour Depolarization Evaluation requires a two step procedure. First complete the Routine Cathodic System Evaluation, Section A as previously described in EPG 774.5.2. Second complete the Four Hour Depolarization Evaluation, Section B as described below.

General Information

Record the Bridge Number, Date and Observer's Name.

First Run

A four hour depolarization will either verify the system has been operating at the required levels or provide information needed for system adjustment. Careful data collection will reduce the chance of errors. Each column of the First Run table is described below.

On Potential (millivolts) data should already be recorded on Ref. Cell and Probe Readings table on Section A.
Instant Off Potential (millivolts) data should already be recorded on Ref. Cell and Probe Readings table on Section A.
4 hr. Off Potential (millivolts) is a reference cell voltage reading, for each zone, taken after the system has been off for 4 hours using either the external hand held or built in meter. Electrically connect the reinforcing steel (system negative) to the positive terminal of the voltmeter and the reference cell lead to the negative (ground) terminal of the voltmeter. Note, these readings will be negative, example, -265 millivolts.
Shift in Potential (millivolts) is the difference between the instant off potential and the 4 hr. off potential. This shift should be 100 millivolts. An acceptable range is from 80 to 150 millivolts. Input current should be increased if the potential shift is below 80 millivolts, and decreased if the potential shift is above 150 millivolts. Adjustment of the input current should be completed based upon either experienced judgment or a ratio.
Example: old input current = 0.80 amps, First Run Potential Shift = 60 millivolts,
Then to determine a new input current.
\frac{0.80\;amps}{60\;millivolts}=\frac{new\;current}{100\;millivolts}, new\;current = 100\;mv\times.80\;amps\div60\;mv
= 1.33 amps
Revised System Input Current (Amps) If the input current for a zone does not require adjustment, leave blank on Section B. If all zones do not require a change in input current, leave all zones blank in Section B and proceed to Re-Computed Ref. Cell Parameters in Section C. If a current adjustment is required, record the revised input current for that zone and continue to a Second Run on a new Cathodic Systems Evaluation sheet.

Second Run (If current readings are changed a second 4hr depolarization should be run. Please record this on a blank Cathodic System Evaluation form in Sections A&B and turn in with oher CSE form for that bridge.) A verification that a shift in potential of about 100 millivolts is required if the input current to a zone is changed. There should be at least 12 hours between successive depolarization tests so the zone has adequate time to stabilize. New Readings are required for zones adjusted, in order to determine a new shift in potential. Repeat this process until the potential shift is within an acceptable range of 80 to 150 millivolts in all zones. For the zones which did not require adjustment, simply copy the data from Section A and B of the first CSE sheet.

On Potential (millivolts) is a reference cell voltage reading, for each zone, taken with the system on using either the external hand held or built in meter. Electrically connect the reinforcing steel (system negative) to the positive terminal of the voltmeter and the reference cell lead to the negative (ground) terminal of the voltmeter.
Instant Off Potential (millivolts) is the reading, for each zone taken immediately after the protective current is turned off. This reading should be taken from about 100 to 1000 msec after shutting off the current . Measuring the potential incorrectly could lead to significant error. (See alternate procedure).
4 hr. Off Potential (millivolts) is a reference cell voltage reading, for each zone, taken after the system has been off for 4 hours using either the external hand held or built in meter.
Shift in Potential (millivolts) is the difference between the instant off potential and the 4 hr. off potential. This potential shift should be 100 millivolts. An acceptable range is from 80 to 150 millivolts. Input current should be increased if the potential shift is below 80 millivolts, and decreased if the potential shift is above 150 millivolts. If additional adjustment of the input current is yet required, it is the basis of the observers judgment as to whether an additional four hour depolarization test should be completed to verify that a 100 millivolt shift in potential has been achieved. If unable to achieve a minimum shift of 80 millivolts in any zone, see Cathodic System Trouble-Shooting Section 6.
Revised System Input Current (Amps) should be recorded for any zones changed. If no change was made from the previous setting, leave blank. Proceed to Re-computed Ref. Cell Parameters table on a new CSE form.

Re-computed Reference Cell Parameters (Access database will recomputed these, send to OR) Finally, after an acceptable amount of shift in polarization has been achieved, new potential parameters must be computed for use in comparison with future bi-monthly On Potential readings. This is completed as described below:

Potential Parameters (millivolts) are the new range numbers computed 40 per cent either side of the operating potential required for the 100 millivolt shift. The On potential from the last depolarization test should be used.
Equations:
lower: 0.6 x On Potential = Low Potential Number
upper: 1.4 x On Potential = High Potential Number

Note; The lower range occurs during the summer when the temperature is hot and the deck is dry. The upper range occurs during the winter when the temperature is cold and the deck is wet.

774.5.4 Sample Data Form

The following pages show how the Routine and Four Hour Depolarization Evaluation Form would appear after being completed by cathodic system observers. Comments and interpretation of data on the sample form are listed below.

774.5.4.1 Section A Comments

1. Since this is a wet day, we would expect to see the reference cell On potentials on the upper side of the potential parameters and higher instant off potentials
2. The system has not been maintained properly from evidence of broken conduit at the cabinet and a rusty cabinet.
3. Corroded lead wires and circuit boards may or may not be functioning properly.
4. Built in meters not functioning will require use of an external hand held meter.
5. All zones were not operating on the constant current mode. Zone 7 is operating on constant voltage mode.
6. Rectifier Settings indicate that zone 7 is at a much higher input voltage than other zones of the system which are of the same area.
7. Probe Reading polarity in zone 7 of a negative (-), indicates that the reinforcement may be corroding or other problems may exist.

774.5.4.2 Section B Comments

1. Section A must be completed prior to completion of Section B. Note that the On Potential and Instant Off Potential readings from Section A are used with Section B.
2. After taking the Four Hour off potentials and computing the Shift in Potential, the following can be seen.
a) Zone 2, 6, and 10 are above the 150 millivolt maximum shift, and therefore the input current should be decreased. This will require a second depolarization test be run.
b) Zone 5, and 9 are slightly below the 100 millivolt minimum shift, but fall between the acceptable range of 80 to 150 millivolts. Therefore no adjustment in input current is required.
c) Zone 7 is far below the 100 millivolts minimum shift and therefore the input current should be increased. This will require a second depolarization test be run.
d) Zone 1, 3, 4, and 8 fall between the acceptable range of 80 to 150 millivolts. Therefore no input current adjustment is required.
3. The second run depolarization test was required due to the input current changes made in zones 2, 6, 7, and 10.
4. From the shifts in potential computed after the second run, all zones except zone 7 are within the acceptable range of 80 to 150 millivolts.
5. In Zone 7, it is apparent that even after resetting the system to constant current mode and increasing the input current from 0.5 to 1.7 amps, the shift in potential did not increase any significant amount. This indicates a probable problem with either the anode bed or lead wires to it. The observer should begin trouble shooting procedures for this zone.
6. From the Second Run "On-Potentials" new reference cell parameters have been calculated. These new parameters listed in the Re-Computed Ref. Cell Parameters table will be used for the next Routine Evaluation

774.5.4.3 Cathodic System Evaluation Form Example 1

Example 1

774.5.4.4 Cathodic System Evaluation Form Example 2

Example 2

774.6 Trouble Shooting Checklist

Symptom Probable Causes Action
No output voltage or current Loss of AC power Check AC supply and line fuse
Recifier malfunction Refer to rectifier manual
Lightning strike Check ligntning arrestors and other electronic components for visual signs of damage
Rectifier powered off Check rectifier power switch
Low output voltage and high output current Electrical short between the anode and the rebar Check DC resistance between anode and system ground with system powered off
Back EMF is zero Electrical short between the anode and the system ground Check DC resistance anode and system ground with system powered off
DC resistance between anode and system ground is less than 1 ohm and the difference in resistance in both directions is less than 1 ohm Electrical short between anode and system ground Locate and eliminate short
Voltage at set level of maxed out, no output current Low set level Increase set level
Open circuit Check AC resistance between anode and system ground with system powered off
High resistance
Insufficient voltage capacity
AC resistance between anode and system ground is excess of 100 kohms Open circuit Locate the break in the circuit
AC resistance between anode and system ground is greater than expected at given temperature Poor or deteriorated electrical contacts Check all electrical connections
Lack of moisture
AC resistance between anode and system ground is increasing with time Degradation of anode and/or adjacent material Evaluate condition of anode and adjacent material
Unstable potential as measured with an embedded reference cell Malfunctioning reference cell Evaluate the reference cell (one method is to check AC resistance between reference cell and the reference cell ground)
Noise pickup Check reference cell waveform for noise
Bad electrical connection
AC resistance between the reference cell and reference cell ground is in excess of 15,000 ohms Malfunctioning reference cell Check reference cell potential with an external Cu-CuSO4 reference cell
Bad electrical connection
4 hour depolarization is less than 80 mV Set current is low Set a higher current if possible and redo the depolarization test
If voltage is maximized then the rectifier does not have sufficient capacity
4 hour depolarization is less than 80 mV only in certain zones of the systems Insufficient current distribution Evaluate anode condition in subject area
Damage to the anode in subject area Evaluate power supply to the subject area

774.7 Appendix

774.7.1 Mesh Systems

Details of Mesh System in Slab (3 pages)

774.7.2 Slotted Systems

Details of Slotted System in Slab (2 pages)

774.7.3 General Details

Wiring and Other Details (2 pages)

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