The use of electronic technology to control and prevent rust or corrosion is not a new concept. For over a century, cathodic protection systems have been employed to manage corrosion in ships, jetties, bridges, tanks, and other land-based fixed structures. These systems use a sacrificial anode that is isolated from the metal it protects and corrodes due to electrical charge while protecting the metal structure.
However, free air structures such as motor vehicles require a different technology, as they are not buried in soil or submerged in water. The inventor of the CAT System discovered that by impressing an alternating current (AC) with a specific waveform and frequency into the metallic body of a vehicle, the rusting process could be slowed or stopped entirely. This technology was tested in the UK before being introduced to the Australian market in 1989.
The CAT System has undergone continuous testing and refinement over the years, leading to many improvements. Although the exact reason why the CAT technology interrupts the rusting process is still debated among experts, laboratory and real-life testing has confirmed its effectiveness. It is believed that the myriad of electrical connections and electronic devices in modern motor vehicles produce “stray currents” that promote corrosion, and the CAT technology causes these stray currents to behave in an orderly manner, preventing damage to the metal of the vehicle. This theory is backed up by salt fog chamber testing, including independent testing by SGS Laboratories in April 2015.