This paper describes an investigation into the interrelationships between the performance of an impressed current cathodic protection (CP) system and the deposition of scale compounds in a seawater pipe system. Some experiments were conducted on a laboratory set-up but the emphasis was on tests on a 0.25 m diameter steel pipe fed by seawater flowing to a thermal desalination plant. The experimental approach involved monitoring the CP current as a function of time at various set potentials and correlating this data with evidence from visual inspection of the pipe-wall surfaces and small probe specimens. The influences of control potential and seawater flow rate at temperatures of 25-35°C were studied. Selected scale samples were subjected to examination by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The overall findings are discussed in terms of fundamental scale/CP-operation interactions and aspects relevant to practical operation of CP systems on seawater pipe installations.

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