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Magnesium anodes used in soils require a prepared backfill around the anode for the following reasons:
·         Increase the effective surface area which lowers the anode-to-earth contact resistance.
·         The bentonite clay absorbs and retains moisture.
·         The gypsum provides a uniform, low resistance environment.
·         The sodium sulfate (a depolarizing agent) minimizes pitting attack and oxide film formation.
Today, the standard backfill for magnesium and zinc anodes consists of:
·         75% Hydrated Gypsum (CaSO4 2H2O)
·         20% Bentonite Clay
·         5% Sodium Sulfate (Na2SO4)
The backfill shall be firmly packed around the anode by means of vibration. Backfill material shall be of sufficient quantity to cover all anode surfaces to a minimum thickness of 25mm.
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