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We introduce you our test field!

We introduce you our test field!
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The cathodic protection test field developed in cooperation between AUTOMA and FM ENGINEERING

As part of the expansion and construction of its Smart Factory, AUTOMA is setting up a Cathodic Protection test field in an area adjacent to the new building in collaboration with FM Engineering, an anticorrosion service company.

A test field available to all cathodic protecion operators

The purpose of the test field is to simulate the possible cathodic protection conditions of buried metal pipelines and to carry out measurements, both in the field and with remote monitoring, on the cathodic protection systems and provided for by national, European and international standards (UNI, EN, ISO, NACE).

In addition to training, updating and certification courses according to ISO 15257:2017, this will also be available for exercises and courses of Goliah Academy: the training and continuous updating programme that AUTOMA will offer its customers to help them exploit and obtain always the best possible results from the monitoring and remote control solutions offered. Moreover, this platform will be enriched by an “international” touch that will allow you to observe and evaluate, in a single environment, the different cathodic protection implementation solutions that AUTOMA has faced and absorbed in its experiences around the world.

An area of 600 m² for vocational training in cathodic protection

The test field covers an area of 600 sqm (50 m x 12 m) and was designed to simulate the cathodic protection of a 6″ diameter pipe of 50 m length (25 m with polyethylene coating and 25 m with bitumen coating) buried at a depth of about 1 m.

Cathodic protection can be implemented in the following ways:

  • by means of an impressed current system with Fe-Si alloy earth electrodes;
  • by means of a magnesium alloy galvanic anode system.

Six test posts are installed along the pipeline route, where fixed copper/copper sulphate reference electrodes are buried, each equipped with one or two coupons (10 sqcm and 1 sqcm). These allow measurements of potential without ohmic drop, measurements of current density (DC and AC) and simulation of coating leaks. A zinc electrode is also present so that measurements obtained using different types of electrodes can be compared and analysed.

Moreover, the test field enables the simulation of interference conditions from both direct and alternating current.

A real “playground” for cathodic protection experts

Each standard “conchiglia” test post, where the measuring cables are shown, is flanked by an ‘international’ test post. These include:

  • M28 test post used in UK;
  • Kettner Pole used in North Europe;
  • Big Fink used in USA e in Middle East;
  • Solar Box produced by AUTOMA.

This includes the installation of AUTOMA‘s cathodic protection remote monitoring devices, which together with monitoring, telecontrol devices and cyclingc switches installed on the cathodic protection rectifiers, will also provide a truly interactive experience of cathodic protection management.

In addition to the T/R cabinets, there are two other distribution cabinets in which it is possible to simulate all possible cathodic protection and electrical interference conditions, as well as to “vary” the total length or part of the structure using variable resistors.

The test field to simulate cathodic protection measurements

In terms of possible cathodic protection measurements, the test field must enable the simulation of what would regularly be carried out in the field to check corrosion protection conditions. This is possible by electrical voltage and current measurements, by the most common measurement techniques in the field of cathodic protection, by instant-off measurements on coupons to verify the potential without ohmic drops.

In detail, it will be possible to carry out the following measures/activities:

  • Performing and organising maintenance operations on cathodic protection devices and components;
  • Performing, organising and evaluating measures for checking the:
    • efficiency of cathodic protection devices;
    • efficiency of cathodic protection system components;
    • electrical condition of cathodic protection systems;
    • as well as for detecting leaks in the insulating coatings; for detecting direct current interference from foreign structures; for detecting alternating current interference from the high-voltage overhead line on site.
  • Performing, organising and evaluating procedures for locating the route of buried metal structures.
The test field as a tool for continuous training

The test field has also been developed to enable to:

  • Learn to recognise the most common installations and configurations, thanks to the presence of measuring points of different models;
  • Learn the equivalence of electrode potentials on different scales, using reference electrodes and potential probes of different types;
  • Assess the:
    • functionality, interfering effects and interactions between cathodic protection systems of different types (impressed current and galvanic anodes);
    • effects of cathodic protection on structures with different coatings (bare structures, bituminous or polyethylene coatings);
    • different demand for cathodic protection current by structures placed in different installation environments (differential aeration).

Contact us now at sales@byautoma.com to book your session on our test field with your team!


Ivano Magnifico

Product Manager


Barbara Diaz

Marketing Manager

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