Background to tests. Cathodic protection has been used on an industrial scale for the protection of pipelines and underwater structures for many years. It has not, however, been applied to structures in which, although the general corrosion resistance is high, there is likelihood of failure by stress‐corrosion cracking. The purpose of the investigation reported here was to determine the effect of cathodic polarisation in a range of commercial alloys which were liable to this type of failure. The idea of using cathodic protection is especially attractive, as metallic or non‐metallic coatings, though they delay the onset of stress corrosion, are not suitable preventive measures. Pitting in the coatings soon results in earlier failure and some materials, such as stainless steel, are difficult to coat.
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