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Bare concentric neutral conductors of buried power cables have failed due to corrosion in several areas of the United States. Galvanic corrosion, between the neutral conductor anode and a “semiconducting polyethylene” tape cathode, was investigated as one of the possible corrosion mechanisms. The results indicate that the rate of the galvanic corrosion is controlled by the cathode and in the present cable design contributes little to the neutral wire failure. If a semiconducting polyethylene jacket is extruded over the neutral conductors, the contribution of galvanic corrosion at jacket defects may become significant.
corrosion, galvanic corrosion, power lines, conductors
Member of the technical staff, Bell Laboratories, Whippany, N.J.
Mitchell, D. A.
Metallurgical engineer, General Public Utilities, Reading, Pa.