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Types of Anodes and Their Uses

3/5/2012 12:43:28 PM | by Anonymous


The anode of a device is the terminal through which electric current flows in from outside. It is also called as sacrificial anode for it gets corroded first before the object where they are affixed to. It helps in protecting expensive metals attached to ships, boats, underwater pipelines, wharfs and even water heater from corrosion. The usual metals used as anodes are aluminium, magnesium and zinc. These elements have to be replaced with fresh ones once they corrode to keep the more important metal from corroding.


The use of aluminium, magnesium and zinc as anodes depend on the water type. Aluminium should be applied in salt and brackish water while zinc can only be used in salt water. However, aluminium is told to last longer than zinc due to increased capacity. Both elements cannot be used as anodes in fresh water. In contrast to the two elements mentioned, magnesium is not recommended to salt and brackish water. It can even heighten the effect of corrosion damaging the object that you are protecting. Magnesium is the best choice for fresh water.


Aluminium used to be the commonly used metal rod in metal tanks and hot water systems. This popularity has lessened when the harmful effects of aluminium has become widespread. Today, water heaters mostly use magnesium. However, aluminium is still preferred in hard water areas. Zinc used in water heater is made of a combination of zinc and aluminum. It reduces the smell of sulfur which can affect some water tanks.


Boat parts corrosion would not be prevented by simply learning what type of anodes to use. In order to fully protect your vessel, one has to be familiar with the hull materials. Whether they are made of fiberglass, stainless or bronze, each one has appropriate anodes to use. Changing the anode can be expensive but the amount to spend will be worth it than loosing your precious boat.

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