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Identifying the Right Material to Resist Corrosion

Posted on November 10th, 2017 by in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence


Something as dangerous as nuclear fuel cannot be effectively contained by just any material. It happens that zirconium is the optimal metal for cladding nuclear fuel rods, partly because it is so resistant to heat and chemical corrosion. The manufacturing process for the zirconium containers themselves requires the use of a very acidic solution, which in turn demands a powerful pollution control system.

In the case study “Finding the right material for a highly corrosive manufacturing process,” a manufacturing plant that makes zirconium containers ran into a problem when they found that a section of piping in the pollution control system was quickly corroding. It had to be replaced as soon as possible because a rupture in one of the pipes could cause serious health and safety issues or environmental damage.

The chemical engineer in charge of dealing with the situation needed to find a new piping material that would be more resistant to corrosion, in order to prevent similar problems in the future. To identify a material that could withstand the corrosive properties of sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide and chlorine gas, the engineer turned to the Knovel database. Features like the Corrosion Survey, along with searchable tables and charts, provided needed information on numerous metals, their performance and their compatibility with chemicals.

By using Knovel, the engineer was able to access the knowledge needed to make a well-informed decision on what kind of pipes to replace the corroded ones with. Importantly, Knovel helped him to do this quickly in a situation where time was of the essence.

Read the customer story to learn more about the chemical engineer’s challenge, the ways in which Knovel enabled him to solve it, and the business impact that it had on the company.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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