(19)
(11)EP 3 447 167 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
23.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/39

(21)Application number: 18185782.2

(22)Date of filing:  26.07.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C23F 13/02(2006.01)

(54)

MANUFACTURE OF SACRIFICIAL ANODES

HERSTELLUNG VON OPFERANODEN

FABRICATION D'ANODES SACRIFICIELLES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 25.08.2017 US 201715686858

(43)Date of publication of application:
27.02.2019 Bulletin 2019/09

(73)Proprietor: Whitmore, David William
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 3E5 (CA)

(72)Inventor:
  • Whitmore, David William
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 3E5 (CA)

(74)Representative: Barker Brettell LLP 
100 Hagley Road Edgbaston
Birmingham B16 8QQ
Birmingham B16 8QQ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 241 676
WO-A1-2016/038475
WO-A1-89/10435
US-A1- 2007 246 348
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] This invention relates to a method for manufacture of sacrificial anodes for use in an ionically conductive medium which contains metal requiring cathodic protection and to an anode assembly so manufactured.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] In published US application US2016/0153096 published June 2 2016 by David Whitmore and in PCT Published Application WO94/29496 of Aston Material Services Limited is disclosed a method for cathodically protecting reinforcing members in concrete using a sacrificial anode such as zinc or zinc alloy. In this published application and in the commercially available product arising from the application there is provided a puck-shaped anode body which has a coupling wire attached thereto. In the commercially available products manufactured in accordance with this disclosure there are in fact two such wires arranged diametrically opposed on the puck and extending outwardly therefrom as a flexible connection wire for attachment to an exposed steel reinforcement member. This arrangement is shown in US Patent 6,193,857 (Davison) issued February 27 2001 and assigned to Foseco International. A similar arrangement is shown schematically also in US Patent 6,165,346 (Whitmore) issued December 26 2000. In the above published US application is disclosed a method for installing the anodes by connecting the conductive wire from the cast zinc anode to one or more reinforcing bars within the concrete to be protected.

    [0003] WO 89/10435 discloses an apparatus of and a method for inhibiting corrosion of reinforcement in a reinforced structure wherein one or more anodes are arranged adjacent a surface of the structure to be protected and a body of ionically conductive cementitious material is arranged to surround the anodes and make contact with ionically conductive cementitious material of the structure, said body of ionically conductive cementitious material being surrounded by a cover of moisture resistant substantially non-porous material to maintain said material in an ionically conducting condition. Said electrodes and reinforcement within the body can be electrically connected to cause a current to pass through said two sorts of ionically conductive cementitious material to protect the reinforcement against electrolytic corrosion.

    [0004] WO 2016/038475 discloses an anode construction comprising a frame with two or more anodes and being adapted to be used with an offshore installation for remote connection with the offshore installation through cable connections between anodes and offshore installation. The frame comprises a main part and at least one movable part mounted on the main part and adapted to be pivotable or slidable in relation to the main part, where one or more anodes are mounted in a fixed position on the main part and one or more anodes are mounted on the movable part. The main part has a bottom frame part and a top frame part and further has at least two anode mounting columns between the bottom frame part and the top frame part, and where the fixed anodes are mounted on the anode mounting columns.

    [0005] EP 2 241 676 discloses a corrosion inhibiting anode assembly for use with underwater structures. The assembly comprises a generally planar main frame for lying on the bed of a body of water, a plurality of spaced-apart elongate anode bars fixedly secured by respective stand-off supports to the main frame and extending in one or more planes that are generally parallel to that of the main frame, and at least one wing frame pivotally attached to the main frame. The wing frame comprises a plurality of spaced-apart elongate anode bars, and is capable of being pivoted from a folded condition to an extended condition in which the anode bars of the wing frame are generally more remote from those of the main frame than in said folded condition, Wing frame supports are connected to the wing frame and arranged to support the wing frame in said extended condition.

    [0006] US 2007/246348 discloses a cathodic protection system for protecting an underwater structure which includes a plurality of blocks which are capable of conforming to various structures. Each of the blocks include: a flexible wire rope, the rope constructed and arranged to pass through the center of each block in two directions, and embedded therein to fasten the blocks to each other by rows and columns; a sacrificial anode embedded in at least one of the blocks, and electrically attached inside the block to the flexible wire rope; and a connecting system electrically attached to the wire rope and to the underwater structure. Each block has a non-abrasive pad attached to it. The pad provides spacing between the block and the underwater structure. The system includes means for collecting performance data from the system. The sacrificial anode is made of a composition taken from the group comprising alloys of: zinc, aluminum, or magnesium.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] According to the claimed invention, as defined in claim 1, there is provided a method for forming sacrificial anodes for installation in an ionically conductive medium at an installation site which medium contains metal requiring cathodic protection comprising:

    locating in a receptacle a plurality of anode bodies each comprising a sacrificial material and at least one component for use in making an electrical connection between the body and the metal;

    providing in the receptacle dividing members defining a plurality of chambers with each chamber containing a respective one of the anode bodies;

    and casting into the receptacle a covering material such that the covering material is in contact with at least a portion of each anode body.



    [0008] According to a second aspect there is provided a method for installing sacrificial anodes in an ionically conductive medium at an installation site which medium contains metal requiring cathodic protection comprising:

    providing a receptacle having dividing members defining a plurality of chambers;

    each chamber containing a respective one of a plurality of anodes;

    each anode comprising a body of a sacrificial material;

    each anode comprising at least one component for use in making an electrical connection between the body and the metal;

    each anode comprising a covering material cast in contact with at least a portion of the body;

    wherein the anodes are transported in the receptacle to the installation site;

    and at the installation site inserting the anodes individually into the medium.



    [0009] According to the claimed invention, as defined in claim 9, there is also provided an anode assembly comprising:
    a plurality of sacrificial anodes for installing in an ionically conductive medium at an installation site which medium contains metal requiring cathodic protection:

    a transportation receptacle having dividing members defining a plurality of chambers;

    each chamber containing a respective one of a plurality of anodes;

    each anode having a body of a sacrificial material and at least one component for use in making an electrical connection between the body and the metal;

    each anode having a covering material cast in contact with at least a portion of the anode body;

    wherein the anodes are arranged to be inserted individually into the medium.



    [0010] The at least one component for use in making an electrical connection between the body and the metal can comprise the whole of the necessary structure for attachment to the metal within the medium. Thus for example when the medium is concrete and the metal is a reinforcing bar, the structure can comprise a wire or plurality of wires which extend from the anode body to the rebar to be wrapped around and optionally twisted together. Alternatively, however, the electrically conductive component for making electrical connection to the metal can simply comprise one part of that structure such as a threaded rod or threaded recess to which other components are attached to make connection to the metal. The component may also act to mechanically fasten the body to the metal although this is not essential and other components can be provided for this task.

    [0011] The at least one component for use in making an electrical connection between the body and the metal provides a metal connecting element which can be engaged with the metal within the medium. This can in some cases be formed by a deformable wire or wires which extend from the anode core and can be deformed by the installer to wrap around a portion of the metal. In other cases, the metal connecting element can be arranged so that it is clamped into place for example as a part of a screw coupling. Thus, the metal connecting element can be deformable or rigid and may or may not include other connecting components.

    [0012] In some cases, it may be preferable that the electrical connector is a threaded stud, a pin or a plate. The stud, pin or plate may extend through a hole in a wall of the chamber or may bear on the upper edge of the chamber to support the anode core.

    [0013] During the casting process, the anode cores are preferably engaged with the receptacle to hold them in place and also to restrict the cast covering material from engaging certain portions of the core as required. However other methods for locating the anode core in the receptacle can be used such as spacer members.

    [0014] During the casting process, the cast material can become bonded to the walls of the receptacle and the preferred use of a flexible material to allow it to flex away from the cast material when the anode is removed can be used to enable demolding without special shaping of the receptacle.

    [0015] Preferably the anodes are cast together as a group and are connected in the receptacle each to the next by a frangible bridge portion of the cast covering material. That is a portion of the cast material bridges over from one chamber to the next to hold the two side by side anodes connected with the bridge being broken at the installation site. This holds the anodes together as a structural body for transportation and assists in the manufacturing process as the cast material holds the structure together during the handling and packaging. However, the bridge is sufficiently thin to allow it to be broken without damaging the layer surrounding the core. The individual anodes can however be cast separately side by wide without any bridging component. Also in some cases the anodes can be cast separately and then laid side by side in the receptacle for the transportation. It will be appreciated that the covering material typically used is a mortar which is susceptible to damage if engaged with other hard components or other anodes so that the holding of the anodes in a specific position relative to one another can prevent this damage.

    [0016] Thus, the frangible bridge portions are preferably broken and the anodes separated at the installation site. However, they may also be separated before shipping and shipped in the separated condition but side by side in the receptacle.

    [0017] Preferably the anode cores are supported and located in the chambers by engagement of a wall portion of the receptacle with the wire. Thus, the wire exiting from the core body forms a suitable component to sit in a wall portion of the receptacle and hold the core spaced away from other walls of the receptacle for the cast material to properly surround at least some surface of the core as it is cast. In this arrangement, preferably the anode core has a wire extending outwardly from each end and the receptacle provides end wall portions engaging each wire of the anode core to support the anode core within its respective chamber suspended across the two end wall portions. This can be conveniently achieved by simply forming a slot in each end wall portion for receiving the respective wire. In this way, the core can be dropped into its chamber with the wires locating the core along the chamber. However other supports can be provided separate from the walls and the core can be supported by components at locations different from the wires.

    [0018] Preferably the end wall portions of each chamber engage a respective end of the anode core and prevent the covering material engaging the wire as the covering material is cast. That is the length of the core is equal to the length of the chamber in which it is received so that the ends of the core are a sliding fit against the ends of the chamber. This seals off the penetration of the cast material into the area at the end of the core and keeps the material away from the wires which can cause problems during manufacture of the anode. Conveniently therefore the chambers are elongated and arranged side by side in a row. To form finger shaped anodes with a center core and a surrounding ring of the cast covering material. However other shapes and other arrangements of the array of chambers can be provided.

    [0019] As the receptacle may be disposable, it can in one arrangement be formed of a flexible disposable plastic material molded to form the chambers and bendable to release the flexible material from the cast covering material. The cast covering material can therefore have tapered sides to allow the fingers to be pulled out, but because the material can be sufficiently flimsy the degree of taper may be reduced as the flexible material can be pulled away from the cast covering material during the one by one release of the anodes.

    [0020] The arrangement herein is particularly advantageous where preferably the anodes are also transported in the same receptacle in which they are cast to the installation site where the installer can simply remove the anodes from the receptacle, while separating each from the next and can install them separately into the medium, typically concrete.

    [0021] To provide even more effective packaging of a large supply of the anodes, preferably the receptacle forms a tray and the trays are stacked one on top of the next in at least one column. The tray thus has a base and upstanding molded walls into which the casting material is placed. However other shapes and configurations of the receptacle can be used. The column or columns can then be contained in an external container such as a cardboard box. A bottom wall of each tray onto which the material is cast acts for separating the anodes in the box from the anodes of the next tray to avoid frictional contact between the mortar layers which can damage the layers in transport. The amount of packaging material used is therefore reduced while providing a stable and effective transport system.

    [0022] To obtain the best advantage, the method herein preferably uses the tray as both the receptacle for casting of a series of anodes side by side and the packaging in which the cast anodes are transported. However, it is also possible that the anodes can be cast separately and packaged at the casting site in trays side by side for the transport. Thus the anode can remain in the tray as it is transported, even if cracked or broken. It is also possible that the anodes are removed from the receptacle before transportation and transported as a group to the installation site in another packaging arrangement.

    [0023] It is also possible that the common casting receptacle is used at the casting site and then the anodes removed at that location for transportation in a conventional packaging system different from the tray.

    [0024] In a yet further optional arrangement, the receptacle can comprise a material which is separated into individual pieces each engaging a respective anode at the installation site. Thus if the material can be torn, the anodes can be broken away from the whole structure while the receptacle is torn into the separate pieces. The use of a material which can be inserted at the installation site into the medium with the anode also is advantageous. That is a suitable material can be a porous paper material which can be easily torn into the separate pieces as the anodes are separated and also the paper can be inserted into the medium such as concrete with the anode without interfering with the communication of ions after the installation is complete. The material concerned can be provided as a liner material between a separate receptacle and the anodes where the liner material is removed from the receptacle with the anodes. The liner can thus provide the part of the receptacle which is transported with the anodes to maintain protection for them during transport while an outer receptacle portion which acts as a mold can remain at the manufacturing location. Alternatively the whole of the receptacle both for casting and for transportation may be provided in the form of the porous material and separated into the individual portions at the installation. The advantage of using the porous material as the receptacle at the site is that the material can be inserted into the medium with the anodes rather than discarded as waste material on site. In this way the transportation receptacle is conveniently introduced into the medium without requiring the installer to carry out the separation of these components and to manage the disposal of the receptacle.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0025] One embodiment of the invention will now be described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

    Figure 1 is a cross-sectional view showing schematically a method according to the present invention for cathodic protection of steel members in concrete or mortar using an anode member having a sacrificial anode body attached by wires to the reinforcing steel members.

    Figure 2 is a top plan view of the anode member of Figure 1 prior to attachment.

    Figure 3 is a top plan view of a method for casting the anode assembly of the present invention.

    Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view along the lines 4-4 of Figure 3.

    Figure 4A is a cross-sectional view similar to that of Figure 4 showing an alternative arrangement in which the receptacle includes a liner portion of a porous material to be inserted with the anode into the concrete during installation and a mold portion.

    Figure 5 is a top plan view of a package containing the anode assembly of the present invention.

    Figure 6 is a cross-sectional view along the lines 6-6 of Figure 5.

    Figure 7 is a top plan view similar to Figure 5 of a further embodiment of package containing the anode assembly of the present invention.

    Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view of a further embodiment of package containing the anode assembly of the present invention.



    [0026] In the drawings like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the different figures.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0027] In Figure 1 is shown a first embodiment according to the present invention of an improved cathodic protection device. The anode structure used is of a similar construction to that shown in the above application WO94/29496 and in US patents 6193857 and 6165346, the disclosures of which may be referenced for further detail.

    [0028] Thus, the cathodic protection device is arranged for use in a concrete structure generally indicated at 10 having reinforcing bars 11, 11A embedded within the concrete 13 and spaced from an upper surface 14 of the concrete.

    [0029] Embedded within the concrete at a position adjacent to the reinforcing bar 11 is a cathodic protection device generally indicated at 15 which includes an anode body 16.

    [0030] At opposed end positions on the peripheral surface 17 is attached a pair of connecting wires 19 and 20 which are flexible but sufficiently stiff to be self-supporting. Any suitable electrically conductive material such as copper, titanium or steel can be used.

    [0031] Around the anode body is provided a layer of a mortar material 21. In practice, the mortar material is moulded around the anode core to provide a thickness of a mortar material around the full periphery apart from the ends with the thickness being of the order of 1cm. The wires 19 and 20 pass through the anode core and then the mortar is cast in place. The mortar forms an electrolyte which is in intimate communication with the concrete layer so that a current can flow from the anode to the steel reinforcement 11.

    [0032] The mortar material is preferably a solid so that it can contain and hold the anode without danger of being displaced during the process. However, gels and pastes can also be used. The mortar material preferably is relatively porous so that it can accommodate expansion of the zinc oxide during consumption of the anode. However, voids which might fill with water should be avoided.

    [0033] The use of the protection device is substantially as described in the above application WO94/29496 in that it is buried in the concrete layer either at formation of the concrete in the original casting process or more preferably in a restoration process subsequent to the original casting. Thus sufficient of the original concrete is excavated to allow the reinforcing bar 11 to be exposed. The wires 19 and 20 are then wrapped around the reinforcing bar and the protective device placed into position in the exposed opening. The device is then covered by a recast portion of concrete and remains in place buried within the concrete.

    [0034] This system is therefore only applicable to a sacrificial anode system where the anode is buried within the concrete.

    [0035] The cathodic protection device therefore operates in the conventional manner in that electrolytic potential difference between the anode and the steel reinforcing member causes a current to flow therebetween sufficient to prevent or at least reduce corrosion of the steel reinforcing bar.

    [0036] The anode and preferably the covering 21 preferably includes at least one activator such as a high pH and/or a humectant material at the sacrificial anode for ensuring continued corrosion of the anode. Suitable materials are disclosed in the above cited documents.

    [0037] The level of the pH and the presence of the humectant enhances the maintenance of the current so that the current can be maintained for an extended period of time in a range 5 to 20 years.

    [0038] The method thus includes locating the sacrificial anode 16 which is of a material which is less noble than the steel members 11 in contact with the ionically conductive concrete or mortar material and providing an electrically conductive connection 19, 20 between the sacrificial anode and the steel section to form a circuit with communication of ions between the sacrificial anode and the steel section through the ionically conductive concrete or mortar material so that the sacrificial anode acts to provide cathodic protection of the steel section.

    [0039] The first and second wires 19, 20 each extend from the sacrificial anode core 15 to a free end 19A, 20A remote from the anode. As shown in Figure 2, the first and second wires are shaped to define a loop 19B, 20B at each of the first and second free ends by turning back the end. However, this is provided merely to assist in manual handling of the end and the ends can be simple terminations shown in Figure 1.

    [0040] Typically, the first and second wires form portions of a common wire 19C extending through the anode material 16 which has a core cast onto the common wire. This method of manufacture is very simple and provides an excellent connection both structurally and electrically between the wire and the sacrificial anode material.

    [0041] Turning now to Figures 3, 4 and 5 there is shown a method for forming the anode described above and for transporting the anode assembly to the installation site shown in Figures 1 and 2.

    [0042] In Figures 3 and 4 is shown a receptacle 30 which is molded to form end walls 31 and 32 and a main body 33. The main body is molded to form a generally undulating shape with raised ribs 34 and valleys 35. The valleys form chambers 36 for molding the anodes described above. The ribs 34 form spacers for holding each anode spaced from the next. The receptacle can be molded from many different types of material including plastics and paper so that it has a thin flexible wall and is thus light weight and inexpensive. The material may be water impermeable or may be porous so as to retain the coating when cast but to allow penetration of liquid after installation in the concrete.

    [0043] Thus, the method forms a plurality of sacrificial anodes for installing in the ionically conductive medium or concrete 13 at an installation site 10.

    [0044] The receptacle or tray 30 forms both a casting tray and a transportation receptacle. The ribs 34 and end walls 31, 32 act as dividing members defining a plurality of chambers 36 in an array in the tray. These are elongated and side by side to form elongate rod-shaped anodes, but of course alternative shapes and spacings are possible. Each chamber 26 is arranged to act as a mold for and to contain a respective one of a plurality of the anodes side by side.

    [0045] Each anode as set out above comprises the anode core 16 forming a body of a sacrificial material and a connecting wire 19 which passes through the core and forms two exposed end portions 19 and 20.

    [0046] As shown in Figures 3 and 4 at the manufacturing location, the anode cores and wires are inserted into the respective chambers 36 and each anode has a cast covering material 21 for the anode cores with each anode core 16 having a coating of the covering material 21 at least partly surrounding the anode core 16 surrounding the outer surface but with the connecting wire 19 exposed at the ends.

    [0047] At the manufacturing location, therefore the material 21 in a supply 21A is poured onto the tray to enter the chambers 36 and surround the core 16. While the casting action occurs, the tray is set on a pad 38 with a raised peripheral rib 39 containing the tray to support the tray sufficiently to receive the casting material. When the cast material is set, the tray is transported containing the series of anodes in a row or other array to the installation site where the anodes are removed from the receptacle at the installation site and inserted individually into the concrete 13. The shape of the anodes with the coating thereon can vary so as to include elongate anodes or puck shaped anodes. When the anodes are elongate, they can extend horizontally as shown in Figures 4 to 7 or vertically as shown in Figure 8 with the coating material cast around the anode body.

    [0048] As shown in Figures 4 and 6, it will be noted that the end walls 31 and 32 and the end ribs 34A are raised to a top edge 40 higher than the top edge 41 of the intervening ribs 34. When the cast material is filled in the tray up to the line 40, this forms a portion of the cast material so that the anodes are connected in the receptacle each to the next by a frangible bridge portion 42 of the cast covering material 21. That is a portion of the cast material bridges over the rib 34 from one chamber 36 to the next to hold the two side by side anodes connected.

    [0049] As the structure while remaining intact is transported in the tray from the manufacturing site to the installation site, the bridge portion 42 is broken at the installation site as the installer separates each anode in turn from the series of anodes supplied. This bridge portion 42 holds the anodes together as a structural body for transportation and assists in the casting process as the cast material holds the structure together during handling, packaging and transporting. However, the bridge portion 42 is sufficiently thin to allow it to be broken without damaging the layer 21 surrounding the core 16.

    [0050] As shown best in Figure 4, during the casting process the anode cores are supported and located in the chambers by engagement of the end walls 31, 32 of the tray 30 with the wire 19. Thus, the walls 31 and 32 each have a slot 43 extending downwardly from the top edge 40 to a bottom end of the slot adjacent a center of the chamber 36. The wire 19 exiting from the core body 16 sits in the slot 43 of the wall 31, 32 of the receptacle 30 and holds the core 16 as shown at the right in Figure 3 spaced away from other walls of the chamber 36 for the cast material 21 to properly surround at least some surface of the core as it is cast from the supply 21A. In this way, the two end wall portions 31 and 32 engaging the ends 16A and 16B of the core 16 act to support each wire 19 of the anode core 16 to support the anode core within its respective chamber 36 suspended across the two end wall portions 31, 32. In this way the core can be dropped into its chamber with the wires locating the core along the chamber.

    [0051] As shown in Figure 3, the end walls 31 and 32 directly engage or butt against the end 16A, 16B of the anode core 16 so that as the material 21 is cast it cannot enter this area or is at least restricted from entering this area and thus prevents or restricts the covering material from reaching the wire 19. The chambers 36 are elongate and arranged side by side in a row to form finger shaped anodes with a center core and a surrounding ring of the cast covering material.

    [0052] As the receptacle is supported during the casting process on the support pad 38, it is formed of a flexible disposable plastics material which can be molded to form the chambers and is simply bendable to pull away from the cast material to release the flexible material from the cast covering material. The walls of the ribs 34 of the main body 33 as shown at 45 and 46 have tapered sides to allow the anodes to be pulled out. However, since the flexible material can be sufficiently flimsy the degree of taper may be reduced relative to those used in conventional rigid molds as the flexible material can be pulled away from the casting during the extraction of the anodes.

    [0053] As shown in Figures 5 and 6 the receptacle forms a tray and the trays are stacked one on top of the next in at least one column. The tray thus has a base and upstanding molded walls into which the casting material is placed. However other shapes and configurations of the receptacle can be used. The column or columns can then be contained in an external container 48 such as a cardboard box. A bottom wall of each tray onto which the material is cast acts for separating the anodes in the tray from the anodes of the next tray below to avoid frictional contact between the mortar layers which can damage the layers in transport. The amount of packaging material used is therefore reduced while providing a stable and effective transport system. The wires 19 and 20 are contained within an area 49 of the box 48 beyond the end walls 32, 32 where the wires can be bent, wrapped or folded to reduce the space required in that area. On arrival at the installation site, the individual anodes are pulled out of the chambers 36 with the respective wires being extracted from the storage areas 49.

    [0054] In Figure 7 is shown a plan view of an alternative arrangement where the anode bodies 16 use a single threaded rod, or other similar mechanism, for fastening to the metal. In this embodiment, the rod 191 is located only at one end of the anode body 16. In this arrangement, therefore there is only a single chamber 491 at the end of the box 48 to receive the rods 191. The rods thus are mounted in the casting process by passing the rod through a hole 431 in the end wall 321. As this engagement is relatively tight and the other end of the body 16 tightly engages the wall 311, this mounting can operate to hold the bodies 16 in place. However, a rib 312 can be provided in the wall 311 facing the end of the body 16 to assist in ensuring the proper location of the body 16 within the chamber for receiving the casting material in the casting process.

    [0055] In Figure 4A is shown an alternative arrangement in which the receptacle 30A is formed of or includes a porous material such as paper to be inserted with the anode into the concrete during installation. The paper receptacle 30A can be sufficiently stiff to form the mold and to form the transportation receptacle. However more typically, the paper receptacle 30A can be as shown in Figure 4A where the receptacle including the main body 33, raised ribs 34 and valleys 35 is thinner so as to define in effect a liner which is located on and carried by the inside of a mold 38A including a base pad 38C and raised ribs 38B. The provision of the shaped mold allows the liner to be relatively thin and easily torn since the liner is not required to provide the strength to support the cast covering material 21 during casting.

    [0056] In this way, the molded anode structure as a body including the anodes and the bridge portions can be pulled out of the mold structure with the liner material attached for transportation to the installation site in stacks in an exterior box as described above.

    [0057] The liner thus provides sufficient structural integrity and cushioning for transportation of the anode assembly in the stack while reducing damage in transportation and storage. At the installation site the anode assembly is separated into individual pieces with each individual anode including a separate torn portion of the liner with each portion engaging a respective anode at the installation site. Thus if the material can be torn, the anodes can be broken away from the whole structure while the receptacle is torn into the separate pieces. The porous paper material can be easily torn into the separate pieces as the anodes are separated and also the paper pieces partly surrounding or engaging the anode can be inserted into the concrete with the anode without interfering with the communication of ions after the installation is complete. That is the selected material, typically porous paper is penetrated by the liquid of the concrete mixture during pouring so that the paper in effect becomes a part of the concrete structure.

    [0058] Alternatively the whole of the receptacle both for casting and for transportation may be provided in the form of the porous material and separated into the individual portions at the installation. The advantage of using the porous material as the receptacle at the site is that the material can be inserted into the medium with the anodes rather than discarded as waste material on site. In this way the transportation receptacle is conveniently introduced into the medium without requiring the installer to carry out the separation of these components and to manage the disposal of the receptacle.

    [0059] In Figure 8 is shown a further embodiment where anodes 50 are cast in a receptacle 51. In this embodiment the elongate anodes are arranged standing vertically in an array which can include a number of rows and columns of pockets 52 into each of which a separate anode 50 is formed and transported. Each anode 50 includes a central anode body 53 of a sacrificial material such as zinc surrounding a connecting wire 54 forming a component for electrical connection of the body 53 to the metal to be protected. Both the pocket and the body are cylindrical with a circular outer periphery 55 and flat ends 56. Different shapes can also be used. The wire 54 emerges from each flat end. The flat bottom end of the body 53 sits on the flat bottom of the pocket with the wire 54A projecting through a hole 57 in the flat bottom. This cooperation between the flat bottom of the anode body on the flat bottom of the pocket and the protrusion of the wire through the hole acts to located the body upright centrally within the pocket. When all of the pockets contain the respective body, the covering material 58 is cast into place around each anode body up to a top surface of the pocket which is coincident with the top of the anode body. The cooperation between the flat bottoms prevents the penetration of the covering material when cast around the wire 54. The flat top surface of the anode body is not covered with the material 58. The pockets are connected each to the next by a bridging portion 59 between the pockets which forms a generally flat sheet with the pockets recessed therein.

    [0060] The structure including the receptacle and the anodes carried therein is transported to the installation site where the anodes are pulled out for individual use. In this embodiment there is no frangible portion connecting he anodes so that the structural shapes is maintained by the receptacle and by any supporting material such as a cardboard divider between each receptacle and the next when formed into a stack for transportation.

    [0061] The receptacle can be formed of a plastics material which is flexible to help release of the anodes when required. Such receptacle s might be re-used or recycled. As an alternative, the receptacle can be formed of paper or other fiber board which is sufficiently resistant to contain the covering material when cast in a wet form and can be sufficiently porous to be used in the concrete which the anode when installed without interfering with the passage of ions. When a fibrous material is used and is not intended to be installed with the anode, before casting each pocket is coated with a release coat for example of silicone to allow the anode to be pulled out of its pocket. As there is no frangible connection in this embodiment as shown, the anodes can be readily separated and where required the receptacle can be torn into cylinders each surrounding the respective anode.

    [0062] However channels can be formed in the top wall 59 to allow casting of connecting portions which will break when required. This of course assists in maintaining the structure as a stiff integral body for transportation to the installation site.


    Claims

    1. A method for forming sacrificial anodes (15) for installation in an ionically conductive medium (13) at an installation site which medium contains metal (11) requiring cathodic protection, the method comprising:

    locating in a receptacle (30) a plurality of anode bodies (16) each comprising a sacrificial material and at least one component (19) for use in making electrical connection between the body (16) and the metal (11);

    providing in the receptacle dividing members (34) defining a plurality of chambers (36) with each chamber containing a respective one of the anode bodies (16);

    and casting into the receptacle (30) a covering material (21) such that the covering material (21) is in contact with at least a portion of each anode body (16).


     
    2. The method according to claim 1 wherein the anodes (16) are connected in the receptacle (30) each to the next by a frangible bridge portion (42) of the cast covering material (21).
     
    3. The method according to claim 2 wherein the frangible bridge portions (42) are broken and the anodes (15) separated at the installation site.
     
    4. The method according to any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein said at least one electrically conductive component (19) extends outwardly from the anode body (16) and wherein the anode bodies (16) are supported and located in the chambers (36) by engagement of a wall portion (31) of the receptacle with said at least one electrically conductive component (19).
     
    5. The method according to any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein a wall portion (31) of each chamber engages an end of the anode body (15) and reduces the covering material (21) from engaging the electrically conductive component as the covering material (21) is cast.
     
    6. The method according to any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the receptacle (30) is formed of a flexible material shaped to form the chambers (36) and bendable to release the flexible material from the cast covering material (21).
     
    7. The method according to any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein there is provided a liner material (30A) between the receptacle (30) and the anodes (15) which liner material (30A) is removed from the receptacle with the anodes (15) and the liner material is formed of a material which is inserted into the medium (13) with the anode.
     
    8. The method according to any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the receptacle comprises a material (30A) which is separated into individual pieces each engaging a respective anode (15) at the installation site and the material (30A) is inserted at the installation site into the medium (13) with the anode.
     
    9. An anode assembly comprising:
    a plurality of sacrificial anodes (15) for installing in an ionically conductive medium (13) at an installation site which medium contains metal (11) requiring cathodic protection:

    a transportation receptacle (30) having dividing members (34) defining a plurality of chambers (36);

    each chamber (36) containing a respective one of a plurality of anodes (15);

    each anode (15) having a body (16) of a sacrificial material and at least one component (19) for use in making electrical connection between the body and the metal;

    each anode (15) having a covering material (21) cast in contact with at least a portion of the anode body (16);

    wherein the anodes (15) are arranged to be inserted individually into the medium.


     
    10. The assembly according to claim 9 wherein the anodes (15) are connected in the receptacle (30) each to the next by a frangible bridge portion (42) of the cast covering material (21).
     
    11. The assembly according to claim 9 or 10 wherein said at least one electrically conductive component (19) extends outwardly from the anode body (16) and wherein the anode bodies (16) are supported and located in the chambers (36) by engagement of a wall portion (31) of the receptacle (30) with said at least one electrically conductive component (19).
     
    12. The assembly according to any one of claims 9 to 11 wherein the receptacle (30) is formed of a flexible material shaped to form the chambers (36) and bendable to release the flexible material from the cast covering material (21).
     
    13. The assembly according to any one of claims 9 to 12 wherein the receptacle (30A) comprises a material which is separated by tearing into individual pieces each engaging a respective anode (15) at the installation site and the material is inserted at the installation site into the medium (13) with the anode (15).
     
    14. The assembly according to any one of claims 9 to 13 wherein the receptacle (30) forms a tray and the trays are stacked in at least one column contained in an external container (48).
     
    15. The assembly according to any one of claims 9 to 14 wherein the covering material (21) includes a covering portion which substantially surrounds a peripheral surface of the body (16) and wherein the anodes (15) are connected each to the next by a frangible bridge portion (42) of the covering material (21) which extends from the covering portion of one anode (15) to the covering portion of a next adjacent anode (15).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zur Bildung von Opferanoden (15) zum Einbau in ein ionisch leitfähiges Medium (13) an einem Einbauort, wobei das Medium Metall (11) enthält, das kathodischen Schutz erfordert, das Verfahren umfassend:

    Fixieren einer Mehrzahl von Anodenkörpern (16) in einer Aufnahme (30), jeweils umfassend ein Opfermaterial und mindestens eine Komponente (19) zur Nutzung bei der Herstellung einer elektrischen Verbindung zwischen dem Körper (16) und dem Metall (11);

    Vorsehen von Teilungselementen (34) in der Aufnahme, die eine Mehrzahl von Kammern (36) definieren, wobei jede Kammer einen jeweiligen der Anodenkörper (16) enthält;

    und Gießen eines Abdeckmaterials (21) in die Aufnahme (30), so dass das Abdeckmaterial (21) wenigstens mit einem Abschnitt jedes Anodenkörpers (16) in Kontakt steht.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Anoden (16) in der Aufnahme (30) durch einen zerbrechbaren Brückenabschnitt (42) aus dem gegossenen Abdeckmaterial (21) jeweils mit der nächsten verbunden sind.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 2, wobei am Einbauort die zerbrechbaren Brückenabschnitte (42) zerbrochen und die Anoden (15) getrennt werden.
     
    4. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei sich die mindestens eine elektrisch leitende Komponente (19) von dem Anodenkörper (16) nach außen erstreckt, und wobei die Anodenkörper (16) durch Eingriff eines Wandabschnitts (31) der Aufnahme mit der mindestens einen elektrisch leitenden Komponente (19) in den Kammern (36) getragen und fixiert werden.
     
    5. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei ein Wandabschnitt (31) jeder Kammer mit einem Ende des Anodenkörpers (15) in Eingriff tritt und das Abdeckmaterial (21) reduziert, mit der elektrisch leitenden Komponente in Eingriff zu treten, wenn das Abdeckmaterial (21) gegossen wird.
     
    6. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei die Aufnahme (30) von einem flexiblen Material gebildet ist, das so geformt ist, dass es die Kammern (36) bildet, und biegsam ist, um das flexible Material aus dem gegossenen Abdeckmaterial (21) zu lösen.
     
    7. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei ein Auskleidungsmaterial (30A) zwischen der Aufnahme (30) und den Anoden (15) vorgesehen ist, wobei das Auskleidungsmaterial (30A) aus der Aufnahme mit den Anoden (15) entfernt wird und das Auskleidungsmaterial von einem Material gebildet ist, das in das Medium (13) mit der Anode eingefügt wird.
     
    8. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei die Aufnahme ein Material (30A) umfasst, das am Einbauort in einzelne Teile aufgetrennt wird, die jeweils mit einer jeweiligen Anode (15) in Eingriff treten, und das Material (30A) am Einbauort in das Medium (13) mit der Anode eingefügt wird.
     
    9. Anodenanordnung umfassend:
    eine Mehrzahl von Opferanoden (15) zum Einbau in ein ionisch leitfähiges Medium (13) an einem Einbauort, wobei das Medium Metall (11) enthält, das kathodischen Schutz erfordert:

    eine Transportaufnahme (30) mit Teilungselementen (34), die eine Mehrzahl von Kammern (36) definieren;

    wobei jede Kammer (36) eine jeweilige einer Mehrzahl von Anoden (15) enthält;

    wobei jede Anode (15) einen Körper (16) aus einem Opfermaterial und mindestens einer Komponente (19) zur Nutzung bei der Herstellung einer elektrischen Verbindung zwischen dem Körper und dem Metall aufweist;

    wobei jede Anode (15) ein Abdeckmaterial (21) aufweist, das in Kontakt mit wenigstens einem Abschnitt des Anodenkörpers (16) gegossen ist;

    wobei die Anoden (15) so angeordnet sind, dass sie einzeln in das Medium eingefügt werden.


     
    10. Anordnung nach Anspruch 9, wobei die Anoden (15) in der Aufnahme (30) durch einen zerbrechbaren Brückenabschnitt (42) aus dem gegossenen Abdeckmaterial (21) jeweils mit der nächsten verbunden sind.
     
    11. Anordnung nach einem der Ansprüche 9 oder 10, wobei sich die mindestens eine elektrisch leitende Komponente (19) von dem Anodenkörper (16) nach außen erstreckt, und wobei die Anodenkörper (16) durch Eingriff eines Wandabschnitts (31) der Aufnahme (30) mit der mindestens einen elektrisch leitenden Komponente (19) in den Kammern (36) getragen und fixiert werden.
     
    12. Anordnung nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 11, wobei die Aufnahme (30) von einem flexiblen Material gebildet ist, das so geformt ist, dass es die Kammern (36) bildet, und biegsam ist, um das flexible Material aus dem gegossenen Abdeckmaterial (21) zu lösen.
     
    13. Anordnung nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 12, wobei die Aufnahme (30A) ein Material umfasst, das am Einbauort durch Reißen in einzelne Teile aufgetrennt wird, die jeweils mit einer jeweiligen Anode (15) in Eingriff treten, und das Material am Einbauort in das Medium (13) mit der Anode (15) eingefügt wird.
     
    14. Anordnung nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 13, wobei die Aufnahme (30) eine Wanne bildet und die Wannen zu mindestens einer Säule gestapelt sind, die in einem Außenbehälter (48) enthalten ist.
     
    15. Anordnung nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 14, wobei das Abdeckmaterial (21) einen Abdeckabschnitt aufweist, der eine Umfangsfläche des Körpers (16) im Wesentlichen umgibt, und wobei die Anoden (15) durch einen zerbrechbaren Brückenabschnitt (42) aus dem Abdeckmaterial (21), der sich vom Abdeckabschnitt einer Anode (15) zum Abdeckabschnitt einer nächsten angrenzenden Anode (15) erstreckt, jeweils mit der nächsten verbunden sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de formation d'anodes sacrificielles (15) destinées à être installées dans un milieu ioniquement conducteur (13) sur un site d'installation, lequel milieu contient un métal (11) nécessitant une protection cathodique, le procédé comprenant :

    la mise en place dans un réceptacle (30) d'une pluralité de corps d'anode (16) comprenant chacun un matériau sacrificiel et au moins un composant (19) destiné à être utilisé pour établir une connexion électrique entre le corps (16) et le métal (11) ;

    la fourniture dans le réceptacle d'éléments de séparation (34) définissant une pluralité de chambres (36), chaque chambre contenant l'un des corps d'anode respectif (16) ;

    et la coulée dans le réceptacle (30) d'un matériau de couverture (21) de telle sorte que le matériau de couverture (21) soit en contact avec au moins une partie de chaque corps d'anode (16).


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, les anodes (16) étant reliées dans le réceptacle (30) chacune à la suivante par une partie de pont cassable (42) du matériau de couverture coulé (21).
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 2, les parties de pont cassables (42) étant brisées et les anodes (15) séparées sur le site d'installation.
     
    4. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, ledit au moins un composant électriquement conducteur (19) s'étendant vers l'extérieur du corps d'anode (16), et les corps d'anode (16) étant supportés et situés dans les chambres (36) par engagement d'une partie de paroi (31) du réceptacle avec ledit au moins un composant électriquement conducteur (19).
     
    5. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, une partie de paroi (31) de chaque chambre s'engageant dans une extrémité du corps d'anode (15) et réduisant le matériau de couverture (21) de l'engagement du composant électriquement conducteur lorsque le matériau de couverture (21) est coulé.
     
    6. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, le réceptacle (30) étant formé d'un matériau flexible façonné pour former les chambres (36) et pouvant être plié pour libérer le matériau flexible du matériau de couverture coulé (21).
     
    7. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, un matériau de revêtement (30A) étant prévu entre le réceptacle (30) et les anodes (15), lequel matériau de revêtement (30A) étant retiré du réceptacle avec les anodes (15), et le matériau de revêtement étant formé d'un matériau qui est inséré dans le milieu (13) avec l'anode.
     
    8. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, le réceptacle comprenant un matériau (30A) qui est séparé en pièces individuelles engageant chacune une anode respective (15) sur le site d'installation, et le matériau (30A) étant inséré sur le site d'installation dans le milieu (13) avec l'anode.
     
    9. Ensemble anode comprenant :

    une pluralité d'anodes sacrificielles (15) destinées à être installées dans un milieu ioniquement conducteur (13) sur un site d'installation, lequel milieu contient un métal (11) nécessitant une protection cathodique ;

    un réceptacle de transport (30) comportant des éléments de séparation (34) définissant une pluralité de chambres (36) ;

    chaque chambre (36) contenant une anode respective parmi une pluralité d'anodes (15) ;

    chaque anode (15) ayant un corps (16) en matériau sacrificiel et au moins un composant (19) destiné à être utilisé pour établir une connexion électrique entre le corps et le métal ;

    chaque anode (15) ayant un matériau de couverture (21) coulé en contact avec au moins une partie du corps d'anode (16) ;

    les anodes (15) étant agencées pour être insérées individuellement dans le milieu.


     
    10. Ensemble selon la revendication 9, les anodes (15) étant reliées dans le réceptacle (30), chacune à la suivante, par une partie de pont cassable (42) du matériau de couverture coulé (21).
     
    11. Ensemble selon la revendication 9 ou 10, ledit au moins un composant électriquement conducteur (19) s'étendant vers l'extérieur du corps d'anode (16) et les corps d'anode (16) étant supportés et situés dans les chambres (36) par engagement d'une partie de paroi (31) du réceptacle (30) avec ledit au moins un composant électriquement conducteur (19).
     
    12. Ensemble selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 11, le réceptacle (30) étant formé d'un matériau flexible façonné pour former les chambres (36) et pouvant être plié pour libérer le matériau flexible du matériau de couverture coulé (21).
     
    13. Ensemble selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 12, le réceptacle (30A) comprenant un matériau qui est séparé par déchirement en pièces individuelles engageant chacune une anode respective (15) sur le site d'installation et le matériau étant inséré sur le site d'installation dans le milieu (13) avec l'anode (15).
     
    14. Ensemble selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 13, le réceptacle (30) formant un plateau et les plateaux étant empilés en au moins une colonne contenue dans un conteneur externe (48).
     
    15. Ensemble selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 14, le matériau de couverture (21) comprenant une partie de couverture qui entoure sensiblement une surface périphérique du corps (16) et les anodes (15) étant reliées chacune à la suivante par une partie de pont cassable (42) du matériau de couverture (21) qui s'étend de la partie de couverture d'une anode (15) à la partie de couverture d'une anode adjacente suivante (15).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description