Ocean-going ships are especially vulnerable to corrosion, particularly their ballast tanks, which are essentially empty and filled with air during ‘cargo leg’ portions of a voyage. Because of varying air and seawater contents ballast tanks have become especially vulnerable, requiring , expensive periodic cleaning, resurfacing and structural repairs. It has been found that an atmosphere of inert gas has a significant anti-corrosion effect on steel surfaces subject to salt water. This protective effect is increasingly being exploited to protect the interior of the ballast tanks. The proposed method, described herein, uses the gas mixture from currently-available inert gas generators, to provide a distribution system that guarantees access of the protective mixture to all points in a tank and to also provide means to “gas free” the space for human access.

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