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Cathodic protection

  1. Jun 8, 2006 #1
    What did iron do to protect copper?

    1. I know it has a stronger reductive power than copper, which means it has more tendency to oxidize.

    Question:
    So, iron reduces O2 and H2O instead of copper? Or does it also reduce the copper that oxidized?

    Could someone explain me what really happens?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2006 #2

    Hootenanny

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    Basically, the process is know as sacrificial protection. It is used on oil rigs were they bolt blocks of magnesium to the steel structure. Iron is more reactive than copper (greater reducing power) and is so oxidised in preference to the copper. The iron need not completely cover the copper, it only need tobe in contact with it so that it can transfer its electrons. A google for "sacrificial protection" will probably yield all the information you required.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2006
  4. Jun 8, 2006 #3
    Thank you, Hootenanny! To know the precise words is essential to search in google. I did find very useful information with "sacrificial protection". :approve:
     
  5. Jun 8, 2006 #4

    Hootenanny

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    My pleasure :biggrin:
     
  6. Jun 8, 2006 #5

    mrjeffy321

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    I have also heard to called "Sacrificial Anode".

    A similar method can be used to protect metal pipes buried in the ground from corrosion. Lets say you have an Iron pipe which would normally rust/corrode away when burried underground and exposed to the elements. In order to keep from having to constantly dig up and replace piping all the time, you can electrically connect a sacrificial anode made of some more reactive metal than Iron to the pipe (say Magnesium). Doing this will cause the Mg to corrose away before the Iron pipe begins to rust.
     
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