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FACULTY OF RESOURCE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

SEMESTER II (2015/2016)

SPECIAL TOPICS IN CHEMISTRY STK3033

REPORT 2:
GALVANIC CORROSION AND CATHODIC PROTECTION

LECTURER: PROF DR LAU SENG


GROUP 1

GROUP MEMBERS

1 AIZATUL AISHAH AZMAN 40463


2 NUR AMALINA HARUN 43013
3 NUR SYAZWANI DRAHMAN 43324
4 NURAIN BABU OSMAN 43348
5 SYARIFAH NURFAIZAH WAN MANSHOR 44302
INTRODUCTION

Galvanic corrosion is the process in which one metal corrodes preferentially over the other
metal in electrical contact and presence of electrolyte. The metal should have different
electronegative value where one is higher than the other so that a potential difference
exists between the metal.

The metal with higher electronegativity is the anode. It is more active thus; it will dissolve
and produce electrons. The metal with less electronegativity is the cathode and it will
receive the electrons produced by the anode. The anode is termed as the sacrificial metal
because as it dissolves and corrodes in the galvanic cell, the corrosion on the cathode is
slowed down or may even stop.

The galvanic corrosion process is used and applied as cathodic protection. Two metal of
different electronegativity is coupled and the metal acting as the anode is made more
susceptible to corrosion in order to protect the metal acting as cathode.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this experiment is:

i. To demonstrate the phenomenon of galvanic corrosion


ii. To restore the corrosion through cathodic protection

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METHODOLOGY

Part 1: Galvanic corrosion

Aluminium metal strip from a can and a copper screw was obtained as two different metals
in this experiment. An electrolyte solution was prepared by dissolving 10g of NaCl in 200mL
distilled water. Before the two metals were immersed in the electrolyte, the original
condition was observed. The two metals were made sure to be in contact with each other
during the immersion. Changes after 24 hours were observed.

Part 2: Cathodic Protection

The metals used in part 1 were recovered and both were attached to a connecting wire. The
aluminium metal strip (cathode) was connected to the negative terminal while the copper
screw (anode) was connected to the positive terminal of a 1.5 volts battery. Changes after 2
hours were observed.

Apparatus set up for part 2: Cathodic protection is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

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RESULTS & DISCUSSIONS

Part 1: Galvanic Corrosion

Bil Observation Figure


1

The original condition of the aluminium


metal strip and copper screw. The
aluminium was silver in colour and the
copper screw was in the bronze shade.

Figure 2
2

The condition of the aluminium metal


strip and copper screw after immersion in
electrolyte for 24 hours. The edges of the
aluminium appeared to be dissolved and
the bronze shade of the copper screw
turns darker.

Figure 3

In part 1, the aluminium metal strip showed corrosion but the copper screw does not
change. The edges of the aluminium appeared to be dissolved indicating that it is oxidized in
the reaction and is experiencing corrosion.

The equation for the reaction at anode is:

Al(s) Al3+(aq) + 3e-

The aluminium metal has a lower electronegativity (anodic) than copper (noble) in the
galvanic series thus, the aluminium is more easily corroded when the two metal are in
contact in the electrolyte solution.

The equation for the reaction at cathode is:

Cu2+(aq) + 2e- Cu(s)

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Part 2: Cathodic Protection

Observation Figure

The aluminium metal strip was not


changed while the copper screw is
covered in a deposit.

Figure 4

In part 2, the aluminium metal strip is connected to the negative terminal, acting as cathode
and the copper connected to the positive terminal is the anode. The voltage of the battery
used in the cathodic protection must be higher than the potential difference between
aluminium and copper to ensure that the electronegativity of aluminium and copper are
also reverse. Reversing the position will cause the copper to have lower electronegativity
than aluminium. This condition is the opposite than in part 1 thus, the aluminium will be
protected and the copper will then be turned into the sacrificial anode.

Since the copper is now acting as anode, it will now corrode to protect the aluminium from
corrosion and it can be seen clearly in Figure 4. The aluminium metal strip will not be
affected by the reaction as in part 1 due and will not corrode.

The equation reaction at anode (copper screw) is:

Cu(s) Cu2+ + 2e-

The equation reaction at cathode (aluminum metal strip) is:

Al3+ (aq) + 3e- Al(s)

Galvanic corrosion usually use two different pair of metal as anode and cathode with gaps in
their electronegativity value to create the potential difference needed in order to make the
electron flows. However when the same material of metal is used as both anode and
cathode, a battery is used to create the potential difference needed in order to make the
electron flows.

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In real life, galvanic corrosion is widely observed in ships that sails the seawater. Seawater in
a very corrosive electrolyte and the body of the ship is very prone to corrosion. The cathodic
protection is applied to overcome this problem and the outer of the ships body is attached
with a metal that has a higher electronegativity so that it will act as the sacrificial anode to
prevent the ships body that is also the cathode from corrosion. The sacrificial anode metal
is replaced at a time interval as they become totally corroded.

CONCLUSION

The phenomenon of galvanic corrosion and the reaction of cathodic protection by


aluminium and copper metal were successfully shown.