Over the years several forms of sacrificial anode cathodic protection systems have been developed and successfully used to provide corrosion control in marine environments. For more than a century cast anodes have been used to protect ship hulls, propellers and other exposed metal objects from corrosion in a purely galvanic mode. However it was not until recently, in the past twenty years, did researchers begin evaluating the potential benefits of applying sacrificial cathodic
protection to steel and steel reinforced concrete structures that are environmentally exposed to marine corrosion. In most cases, solid zinc in the form of an expanded metal mesh has been the primary anode material used for controlling corrosion in splash zones of substructures in marine environments. Zinc mesh anodes are manufactured using
99.99% pure special high grade zinc ingot and alloyed with small amounts of trace elements for improving anode performance and creating better formability (see Table l). The relatively pure composition is essential for the electrochemical behavior of the anode to operate in a purely galvanic mode. The alloying elements are key to controlling
intergranular corrosion behavior as well as creating a more workable substrate for processability to an end product. The most recent mesh configuration is a result of several studies related to optimizing critical anode mass and available surface area. The end result is a system that delivers long term, uninterrupted sacrificial cathodic protection to steel and steel reinforced concrete structures in marine environments. In many cases it has been very advantageous to incorporate zinc mesh anodes into basic concrete repair practices; such as integral pile jacketing, for a complete rehabilitation strategy. To date, this has been the most effective and economical way to restore concrete section loss and provide maintenance-free cathodic protection in a single operation. Since these systems operate in a galvanic mode, they are ideal for remote
installation sites where maintenance, access and utility sources are not convenient or are unavailable. All the systems discussed in this paper amply supply in excess of 100 mV of polarization. Keywords: Splash zone, cathodic protection, sacrificial anode, zinc, marine environments, mesh configurations, steel reinforced concrete, corrosion, composition, galvanic, polarization, maintenance-free, pile jacket.