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Mixed potential theory has been briefly reviewed to show the basis for the measurement of corrosion rate by polarization resistance and the suppression of corrosion by cathodic protection. Polarization data on buried steel and aluminum are presented to show the applicability of the theory. Limitations on the applicability of the theory to large buried surfaces, bare and coated, are discussed. It is concluded that further experimental work is needed to determine potential distribution on large surfaces and the effects of polarization on the size, distribution, and current density of anodic and cathodic surface areas.
underground corrosion, soils, buried metals, polarization, cathodic protection, linear polarization, polarization resistance
Associate professor, University of Nevada, Reno, Nev.