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Galvanic corrosion concerns in Navy ships are discussed including the role that cathodic protection plays on the ship hull. The specific causes of a number of shipboard examples of galvanic corrosion are identified, with proposed solutions to each. Most problems occur in seawater connected tanks and in the piping systems, with relatively few on the external ship hull, machinery spaces, and topsides. Nearly all of the problems could have been eliminated through the application of good corrosion engineering practice at the design or construction stage, although occasionally a unique unpredictable problem emerges. The predictability of the problems re-emphasizes the need for greater corrosion awareness by all associated with the design, building, and maintenance of ships and their mechanical systems.
marine corrosion, galvanic corrosion, cathodic protection, metallic materials, corrosion engineering
Supervising metallurgist, Marine Corrosion Branch, David Taylor Research Center, Bethesda, MD