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Determination of the auxiliary anode position via finite element method in impressed current cathodic protection

Yingwei Liu (Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China)
Zhongwu Zhang (Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China)
Yang Zhang (Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China)
Jianneng Zhang (Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China)

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 25 July 2019

Issue publication date: 9 August 2019




It is a challenge in the design to determine the feasible anode position and the supply current when the hull is protected by the impressed current cathodic protection method. It is difficult to obtain these parameters through traditional experimental methods due to the huge hull surface area and geometric complexity. This study aims to solve the problem by finite element method.


First, a great number of experiments need to be conducted; second, experiments are empirical; finally, there exist measurement errors, etc. All these factors make the experimental results less reliable. The application of the finite element method, combined with other technologies, is expected to overcome these deficiencies. In this paper, the combined Matlab and Comsol method was used to calculate various anode positions and corresponding protection areas with a series of input current conditions. The calculation is implemented via the script in Matlab.


As a result, the best design can be obtained. The results show that the method provided in this paper can replace the experiment to a certain extent, save human and material resources and reduce the design time. The method also can be applied to other similar fields, having a good universality.


This optimization method can be extended to other areas of relevant production and research, having a good universality.



This work was supported by the NSFC Funding (51371062).

Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflict of interest.


Liu, Y., Zhang, Z., Zhang, Y. and Zhang, J. (2019), "Determination of the auxiliary anode position via finite element method in impressed current cathodic protection", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 66 No. 4, pp. 432-438.



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