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Material of construction for acid storage tanks

(-----) 2006

We are using Nitric Acid & Hydrochloric Acid for refining of Gold. We are going to expand
our work for which we need large storage vessels to hold Nitric & Hydrochloric acid respectively.
Suggest suitable materials of construction to store the corresponding acids.

- Coimbatore, TamilNadu, India


Hello, Mr. Anandan. If you seek abstract corrosion resistance data, you should seek guidance from corrosion handbooks because people cannot write a 75-page treatment of the subject for you as you would find in such books. Alternately, the suppliers of these acids will usually provide guidance on handling the acids as part of their product stewardship program. Then you should do coupon testing simulating as closely as possible the actual exposure conditions before committing to construction of these tanks. Good luck.

However, if you have accumulated some experience in the matter, such as "we tried vinyl lining for the HCl but the problem was . . ." or "we were thinking of 316SS for the nitric acid but were concerned that . . .", then please present your situation that way and people may well be able to help you with specifics like that. Thanks.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Ted is right. Containers for those acids are usually made of UHMW polyethylene but it may vary depending on your specific situation.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico


Hi Mr. Anandan

What Guillermo says about Polyethylene is right EXCEPT that the containers must, MUST be moulded (i.e., rotational moulding Engel process) and no welding, due to the nitric acid, should be used. This applies to Polypropylene, too.
For connectors, ah, simple. Use bulkhead adaptors in PVC.

There are, too, other materials to consider ... the least expensive being PVC, ideally a PVC dual laminate. Then you are not restricted to the available moulded Pe tank sizes.

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [dec]
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


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