Modified Graphite Reference Electrodes

by Ali Akbar Sohanghpurwala, CONCORR, Inc, Herndon, United States,
William T. Scannell, CONCORR, Inc, Herndon, United States,
Anthony LaConti, CONCORR, Inc, Herndon, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Pacific Rim TransTech Conference?Volume II: International Ties, Management Systems, Propulsion Technology, Strategic Highway Research Program


The primary aim of this research was to investigate the feasibility of developing an improved, more reproducible, reversible, and highly voltage invariant graphite reference half cell for use in controlling cathodic protection systems on pre-stressed concrete structures. The performance of various standard and experimental modified graphite electrodes was compared to the best commercially available and other recently developed embeddable reference cells in salt-contaminated concrete under severe cyclic temperature conditions. Two of the seven modification processes that were applied on base graphite resulted in a significant improvement in the performance of the graphite electrode. It was found that these modifications not only dampened the potential shift in the base graphite, but also, in one case, completely prevented the shift in potential due to temperature increases. One modification reduced the standard deviation of the base graphite by a factor of 14 after it attained equilibrium. The range of deviation was also reduced by a factor of 9. It was concluded that selected modifications of base graphite can produce a stable and reproducible reference electrode which is simple to manufacture, rugged to handle and cost effective. The performance of modified graphite electrodes showed strong potential to be as good or better than the best commercial reference electrodes currently on the market.

Subject Headings: Minerals | Prestressing | Prestressed concrete | Feasibility studies | Cathodic protection | Temperature effects | Protective structures

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