ICCP system prevents corrosion of naval platforms

Engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash has completed a contract to perform an independent review of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) corrosion protection system used on current naval platforms. They are now working on the design of systems for the next generation of Royal Navy platforms.

Modern naval platforms employ an Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) system to suppress the effects of galvanic corrosion, through an electrical process that generates a protective current around the hull. Frazer-Nash worked on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate, looking at how the ICCP system was being operated in day-to-day service across the ship class.

The aim of this review was to analyse the reliability and operational use of the protection system in order to improve the protection of the hull.

Using their bespoke corrosion modelling code called FNREMUS, Frazer-Nash predicted the precise locations most susceptible to galvanic corrosion and modelled the effect of the cathodic protection systems over a range of operating conditions.

FNREMUS was specifically developed to model ICCP systems and is ideally suited to assessing and rapidly optimising the system configuration over a range of environmental conditions.

The combination of different materials and harsh marine environments provide all the ingredients for galvanic corrosion to naval platforms.

Left unprotected the resulting hull damage to naval platforms needs to be regularly repaired, which can be a time consuming and costly process. By installing an appropriate protection system, or optimising an existing one, platform availability can be increased and through-life costs reduced.

Frazer-Nash identified several areas where practical changes to both the system hardware and its operation could be made to improve the way the ICCP system performed. These are currently being implemented by the MoD, and should reduce operating costs, maintenance time and increase corrosion protection.

Phil Harris, Manager for Frazer-Nash’s Australian business, said: “This contract is a great example of the sort of work on naval platforms that we can offer the defence industry here in Australia. Our expertise in corrosion management, coupled with our long-running experience of analysing the reliability of vessels, puts us in a strong position to provide similar services in this country.”

The detailed system review and cutting-edge technical analysis can be readily adapted to benefit other industries that are affected by galvanic corrosion, such as the oil and gas and renewables sector.

FNREMUS can be applied to large scale, real world problems, allowing Frazer-Nash to draw fact based conclusions on what were previously only observational hypotheses.

Frazer-Nash is an independent systems and engineering technology consultancy, employing approximately 400 permanent staff across Australia and the UK.

Frazer-Nash’s key markets are defence, nuclear, power & energy, civil aerospace, rail, marine, petrochemical and industrial.

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