Marine Engine Protection: Zinc Rods and Engine Anodes Preventing Corrosion

When thinking about marine operations, whether used in commercial, private or military applications, we typically think about boats and ships traveling long distances across ocean waters. Yet there’s also a range of other structures and equipment that are used in maritime operations. Oil and gas offshore platforms, construction equipment, and materials handling equipment used to load and unload cargo from commercial liners are used on a daily basis. These types of equipment and structures, as well as boats and ships in the water, can experience corrosion to engine parts due to the metal’s contact with salt and brackish water.

Marine engines are typically composed of varying metals and alloys that wear out from rust and corrosion at different rates. To lower the rate of corrosion to improve the longevity of the marine engine, zinc rods and engine anodes will be used.

Zinc Rods Offer Protection by Sacrificing Themselves

A zinc anode consists of 99.99% or higher of zinc. Formed into a rod, the zinc is placed on metal components to disrupt the saltwater’s electrolyte current flow that causes corrosion. The zinc rod will begin to corrode and rust, leaving the other important and expensive engine metal intact.

Zinc rods will also often be called pencil anodes due to their size and shape that makes them look like a pencil. The rod will have a threaded end with a brass plug for easy attachment to marine engines and metal components.

A zinc rod will be both dense and heavy to ensure that it remains attached to the metal component and will last for a very long time when submerged in salt water. However, in time the zinc will completely corrode away. For maritime ships and operations, people will turn to ZDM and ZDT replacement engine anodes to increase the zincs longevity.

ZDM and ZDT Replacement Elements

ZDM and ZDT engine anodes allow for easy zinc replacement when the anodes begin to experience extensive corrosion. The type of replacement anode to use will be based on the location of the anode, the types of dissimilar metals used in the marine engine that requires protection, and how the engine anode is attached.

ZDM replacement engine anodes consist of smaller zinc sections that have a thread attached to each section. Each ZDM section can be screwed into the next one, creating the appropriate length for the engine anode that is needed for the application. When one zinc section wears away, a new ZDM replacement element is screwed into place. The zinc elements are attached to a brass plug.

ZDT replacement engine anodes are similar to ZDM anodes except there is no thread attached to each section. Consisting of long zinc sections or smaller discs, the ZDT engine anode has a hole at the center as the anode can be placed on a steel rod that is attached to a brass plug. When the anode wears away, another ZDT anode can be slid into place. So the rod can remain attached the entire time.

Zinc Rods, ZDT and ZDM Engine Anodes Saving Metal Parts

Commercial liners, cargo ships, private water vessels, maritime structures and shore equipment that are exposed to saltwater elements need corrosion protection to prevent untimely failure of engine components. Using zinc rods as well as ZDT and ZDM engine anodes can allow equipment that is under heavy use to keep going to complete maritime operations.

Here at Belmont Metals, we provide a range of zinc rod anodes, pencil anodes and replacement anodes to select from in a range of sizes and diameters. Contact us today for more information.