European Corrosion Medal for ICorr Past-President

European Corrosion Medal for ICorr Past-President

Stuart Lyon, ICorr President between 2005 and 2007, and who continued afterwards as CEO of CORREX Ltd until 2012, has been awarded the European Corrosion Medal for 2020. This is the most prestigious honour of the European Federation of Corrosion (EFC) and recognises: “achievements by a scientist, or group of scientists, in the application of corrosion science in the widest sense”.

In a 35-year career at Manchester, Stuart has published over 200 papers, supervised over 60 PhD/MPhil research students and over 80 MSc and Undergraduate project students. He is a regular attendee of, and presenter at, EuroCorr, an organiser of EFC events (especially EuroCorr 2008 in Edinburgh) and active participant in EFC Working Parties – notably: WP4 (Nuclear Corrosion); WP6 (Surface Science & Mechanisms of Corrosion Protection); WP7 (Corrosion Education); WP8 (Physico-chemical Methods of Corrosion Testing); WP14 (Coatings). Since 2006 he has been 
Editor-in-Chief of “Corrosion Science Engineering and Technology” an IoM3/EFC journal.

Over his career, he has worked with the energy sector (nuclear core materials, radwaste containers, and hydrocarbon applications in upstream and downstream) and helped to set up research partnerships at Manchester with the UK nuclear industry (the Materials Performance Centre – MPC), BP (the International Centre for Advanced Materials – ICAM), EdF Energy, and Airbus. Since 2012, he has led a strategic research partnership for AkzoNobel’s global corrosion protective coatings business applying innovative analytical and microscopy techniques to the study of paints and paint performance.

Stuart, who is AkzoNobel Professor of Corrosion Control at the University of Manchester, was recognised by the EFC Award Jury for his: “wide contribution and significant research particularly in the fields of atmospheric corrosion, corrosion protection by organic coatings as well as corrosion inhibition using emerging and novel analytical techniques for advancing the fundamental understanding of corrosion mechanisms. He is widely recognised as a corrosion scientist with an international scientific reputation at an academic level who, at the same time, has made a strong impact on industrial applications in corrosion and corrosion protection”.

Previous winners from the UK include Graham Wood (who established Manchester as a world-wide centre of excellence in corrosion research) in 1999 and Redvers Parkins in 1996. Graham and Redvers were also Past-Presidents of the Institution of Corrosion Science and Technology, the predecessor body of ICorr.

The presentation of the EFC Corrosion Medal Award Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the EUROCORR 2020 meeting, and will be followed by an acceptance address by Stuart.

Social Media

During the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the use of social media has exploded. Numbers from The Institute of Corrosion’s social media accounts show that members are staying in touch and connected to their professional life as well as their personal.

Coronavirus has shown the world many things. One of these is that our human need to connect with others remains strong – and when we can’t interact in person, we’ll find other ways of doing so. From cave drawings to smoke signals to telegrams to telephones, we humans have always innovated new ways to interact remotely.

Of course, the world has moved on from smoke signals to social media as a preferred channel of communication, interaction, and information sharing. The unprecedented times in which we currently find ourselves has shown just how much we now rely on social media – and the Institute of Corrosion has not been left behind.

According to recent data from GobalWebindex, social media is a core activity of people in lockdown. Almost half of internet users say they are spending more time on their social media and on messaging services. More than a third are spending more time on mobile apps. Interestingly, now the social media bug has hit, one in five people expect to continue to spend more time on their social media after the COVID-19 outbreak has passed.

The Institute has been developing its social media this year. It can now be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (links to these sites can be found in the March/April Corrosion Management). Content includes blogs, news, and market information which is shared with the world. The Institute’s members are encouraged to become involved in the conversation about corrosion by posting on the Institute’s social media and sharing its content, and this is beginning to happen.

Our social media numbers are growing tremendously. For example, the number of members on the LinkedIn group page are up by around 15% this year, and moving toward 2,500. That’s a faster rate of growth than the LinkedIn platform itself has experienced. Its number of members has only increased by around 2.25% this year.

The Institute’s ambition of increasing global reach is being helped by its social media presence, too. When breaking down its audience, the number of visitors to the website – in large part driven by its social media and organic search – increased by around 9.5% in the last three months compared with the previous three months.

While the UK accounts for around a third of site visitors, the Institute’s new focus on digital communication channels is paying dividends around the globe. Visitor numbers from the Europe rose strongly, led by the Netherlands with a colossal increase of more than 25%. Visitors from the United States increased by a very impressive 15%. India was next on the list, with almost 13% more visitors than in the previous period, followed by Nigeria and UAE among others.

When the Institute rebranded, it rebranded its website simultaneously. The greater depth of content on the site now includes regular blogs, news, details of all training and certifications, and a members-only area with exclusive content. The efforts by all involved are being recognised by a growing audience.

Together with its improving social media presence and this magazine, the Institute of Corrosion is keeping a worldwide community in touch with all the latest news, views, and developments in corrosion. Additionally, it is providing new ways for you to develop your professional network through your membership of the Institute of Corrosion. Points that were noted at the recent Council meeting, in which a good deal of appreciation was expressed for the work of both the magazine and recent social media activity.


It has been tough time for everyone for a while now but hopefully by the time you read this, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once guidance on easing the lockdown is clearer, Corrosion House will re-open, as will many other businesses. When this happens, an announcement regarding courses at Northampton will be placed on the CORREX website and emails sent to trainers and clients.

It is acknowledged that there is a backlog of replacement cards, and other information people are waiting for, but please be patient with Denise and her team at Head Office, as it may take some time to catch up.

We will be continuing to develop ICATS in the UK and overseas in the ensuing months and Kevin will be visiting clients when he can.

A reminder that there is a supply of ICATS, ICA black books, and Trainers should email Kevin ( if they require copies of the book.

Membership Subscription Rates 2020/2021

membership subscription table

New Applicants
All new applications for Individual membership must be accompanied by a payment of £95.00. The applicant will immediately be admitted into the Institute as an Individual Member.

*Applications should be accompanied by proof that you are a student to qualify for free membership.

January – March Applications
Applications submitted between 1st January and 31st March (i.e. in the second half of the subscription year) need submit only half the annual rate plus the full Registration fee of £15 (i.e. £55.00 for Individual Members).

April – June Applications
Applications during April, May and June will be treated as being made on 1st July.

Payment may be made by cheque or credit/debit card. Overseas members who wish to receive the Institute’s journal Corrosion Management by air mail should add £30.00 to their subscription payment.

Grade Transfer
Applications for transfer to a higher grade should be made on the Professional Membership Application Transfer Form and be accompanied by a payment of £58.00, being £25.00 administration fee plus the £33.00 difference between Individual and Professional Membership or £36.00 being £25.00 administration fee plus the £11.00 difference between Individual and Technician Membership.

Candidates should realise that an application for Professional membership can take up to six months. While the Professional Assessment Committee makes every effort to process applications more quickly than this, they can be helped by candidates ensuring full and complete fulfilment of the requirements, especially the provision of an adequate training and experience report.

Subscription rates for Life Membership, Members in retirement and unemployed Members are available on request.

Introducing Cathodic Protection – How Does Cathodic Protection Work?

Introducing Cathodic Protection – How Does Cathodic Protection Work?

Cathodic protection methods – differences and similarities

In our last article, we examined electrochemical corrosion and introduced the major areas where cathodic protection is used to protect against corrosion in aggressive environments such as soils, waters, and chloride contaminated concrete.

In this article, we take a deeper dive into how cathodic protection works.

The two types of cathodic protection

There are two types of cathodic protection: galvanic anode and impressed current cathodic protection.

Both provide a cathodic protection current flow from cathodic protection anodes placed within the same electrolyte as the metal to be protected. The current flows from the anode into the electrolyte. It discharges onto the metal, controlling the corrosion. It must flow within the metallic circuit (the metal plus the cables) and back to the anode to complete the circuit.

Galvanic anode cathodic protection (GACP)

Galvanic anode cathodic protection works as summarised above.

The anode materials are alloys of either zinc, aluminium, or magnesium – all more active metals than, for example, carbon steel. These more active metals corrode preferentially to the steel when they are metallically connected to the steel in an electrolyte.

The corrosion current of the anode material is the cathodic protection current for the steel. The current flows through the electrolyte onto the steel, controlling its corrosion. The current returns to the anode in the metallic circuit.

You may have heard the term ‘sacrificial anodes’. However, though this terminology describes the anode materials and how they act (the galvanic anode corrodes preferentially to the steel), it was changed in Europe in the 1980s to ‘galvanic anodes’.

You may see galvanic anode cathodic protection identified by the acronym SACP or GACP.

·         How is galvanic anode cathodic protection used?

Offshore, anodes are normally cast onto structural tubular cores which are welded to the offshore structure during construction onshore.

Offshore oil and gas pipelines are protected with aluminium alloy or zinc bracelet anodes clamped over the protective coating and connected to the pipeline by short cables or welded connections. Such protection should last for 30 years or longer.

Onshore, short pipelines are often protected using magnesium anodes. These are cast onto steel cores and connected to the pipeline with cables. In soils of low electrical resistivity, extruded or continuously cast and hot-rolled zinc ribbon is used. Zinc ribbon is widely used as an earthing electrode to mitigate induced alternating current (AC) on buried pipelines.

Impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP)

Impressed current cathodic protection is provided by connecting a DC power source between the metal being protected and the cathodic protection anodes. In contrast to GACP, the cathodic protection current is supplied by the DC power source and not by corrosion of the anode itself.

The DC power supplies are typically transformer rectifiers (confusing acronyms include TR, TRU and T/R) which convert mains electricity to low voltage DC. In remote areas, solar panels and batteries are commonly used (and stolen); thermo-electric DC generators and both diesel and gas engines driving generators have also been used.

The negative pole is connected to the protected metal (‘negative drain point’), and the positive pole is connected to the anode. As with GACP, the cathodic protection current flows from the anode, through the electrolyte and onto the metal being protected.

The anodes can be scrap steel (a reasonably common practice in France, where old railway rails are often used in such applications), high silicon iron, or sophisticated ‘mixed metal oxides’ coated onto titanium. Other materials, including graphite, magnetite, lead, platinum-coated titanium and niobium, have also been used, though performance and cost have combined to reduce their use.

·         How is impressed current cathodic protection used?

Offshore, anodes are typically mixed metal oxide coated titanium (MMO/Ti). These can be used in both seawater and saline mud, though in the latter their consumption rate is greater.

For steel in concrete, most impressed current systems use MMO/Ti anodes either in mesh, strip, or tubular form. There is a tubular anode formed into a conductive ceramic of MMOs.

In onshore applications, groups of anodes are normally used in ‘groundbeds’, which may take the form of a long horizontal trench in which multiple anodes are buried in a carbonaceous backfill. This increases the surface area, reduces the electrical resistance to ground, and extends the anode life. Similarly, anodes and ‘coke’ can be used in deep boreholes or multiple shorter boreholes. Anodes are typically high silicon cast iron or MMO/Ti.

Most impressed current systems will require replacement after about 25 years.

Which form of cathodic protection is best?

If the cathodic protection system is well designed, installed, operated and maintained, both galvanic anode and impressed current cathodic protection can be equally effective. However, GACP is simpler and has proved to be more reliable offshore.

Onshore, ICCP systems are easier to access for maintenance and, once installed, their components are not subject to the challenges of offshore environments. If properly designed, ICCP can protect many kilometres of well-coated pipelines.

ICCP is also advantageous for bare or poorly coated steel as it can deliver hundreds of amps of low voltage direct current, while a typical galvanic anode will seldom deliver more than 5 amps.

Cathodic protection – a specialist operation

Cathodic protection is used extensively to protect critical infrastructure from corrosion. For example:

  • It is legally mandated for gas and oil pipelines to ensure their safe operation
  • Offshore gas and renewable energy structures are effectively mandated to receive effective cathodic protection by their certification bodies
  • Ships benefit from extended dry-docking rules if they have effective cathodic protection
  • The life of concrete bridges and structures affected by chlorides, from de-icing salts or marine exposure, is extended by cathodic protection
  • Newly constructed, reinforced concrete structures in severe exposure conditions also have extended life when cathodic protection is used

However, across all functions – from design through installation to testing and maintenance – cathodic protection is highly specialised. There are standards (BS ENs and BS EN ISOs) for cathodic protection applications for different structures in different environments.

A key takeaway from the standards is that they make it clear that cathodic design must be undertaken by cathodic specialists with a documented, appropriate level of competence.

How do you gain a cathodic protection specialisation?

There are no degrees that can be gained in cathodic protection, and there are no postgraduate courses in cathodic protection engineering, either. Instead, you find that cathodic protection specialists may hold a science or engineering degree (or complete an apprenticeship) before undertaking specific training and gaining experience and expertise in cathodic protection.

The Institute of Corrosion offers courses in cathodic protection, providing the training required for levels 1 to 3 for cathodic protection data collectors, technicians and senior technicians. These courses are produced, owned and administered by the Institute of Corrosion CP Governing Board (CPGB), part of the ICorr Professional Development and Training Committee (PDTC).

These courses are designed for those seeking the certification of competence in accordance with standard BS EN ISO 15257. We also find that these courses add value to managers and others who want to know what their cathodic protection staff and/or contractors must be doing and the limits of what they should do.

Independent of the cathodic protection courses and the PDTC and CPGB, the Institute of Corrosion also offers an independent assessment of competence through its Professional Assessment Committee (PAC). This is recognised internationally as confirmation of experience, knowledge and task skills as defined in standard BS EN ISO 15257; it is valid internationally.

For cathodic protection companies and for independent cathodic protection specialists, attainment of cathodic protection training and certification will ensure demonstration of competence, experience and expertise. This translates into more effective work, improving reputational excellence, and more employment opportunities.

To learn more about our range of cathodic protection training courses and the experience and qualifications needed for certification, please visit our pages detailing the Cathodic Protection, Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme.

In our next article, we explode 7 cathodic protection myths.