Tips on Using Zinc Anodes to Your Advantage in the Marine Industry

Zinc anodes are becoming almost indispensible in the marine industry. Zinc has been used in various sectors right from automobiles to construction to furniture to even utensils. But when used in the marine industry, zinc proves to be an excellent anti-corrosion solution.

Aluminum anodes are also largely used in the marine industry. They are suitable for use in a tropical water environment. Aluminum anodes are known to last slightly longer than their zinc counterparts.

• Why use boat zincs?

Boats and marine vessels are in constant touch with sea water, which causes corrosion in metals. If left untreated, corrosion can prove to be a hazard to the boats and ships and could even lead them to sink. This applies not just to boats, but also to other marine structures such as jetties, ballast tanks, propeller shafts etc. Salt water and brackish water call for the use of marine anodes.

• How does a zinc anode work?

Zinc anodes are also known as sacrificial anodes because they sacrifice themselves to protect the ship or vessel from corrosion. Corrosion is essentially a natural phenomenon that is caused by small electrochemical currents that pass between the submerged metal and sea water. But when an anode is affixed to that particular metal, the currents are re-routed to the anode instead of the original metal.

However, this is only possible if the anode is more reactive than the metal it is fixed onto. This is also the case with other commonly used anodes such as aluminum anodes. Anodes can also be found in places such as submarines, underwater oil pipelines, bridges among other things. These anodes can either be mounted directly on the metal structure that needs protection. Alternatively, it can also be connected with the help of a wire to ensure cathodic protection. Investing a small amount in anodes saves your expensive marine vessels and other equipment from rust.

While zinc and aluminum are preferred in seawater, magnesium anodes are increasingly used as a suitable anti-corrosion solution in brackish water. However, while using anodes, do remember that you need to constantly monitor them and when they get worn out, you need to instantaneously replace them. If they are not replaced on time, the corrosion could spread to the hull of your boat or ship. Since such anodes are used in boats, they are known as boat zincs.

When you purchase zinc anodes, it is advisable to approach a reputed manufacturer who will be able to offer quality products. Anodes tend to be heavy in weight; hence it is preferable to consult the manufacturer in order to select the most suitable anodes.