No registration, no passwords; no pop-up ads -- just aloha, fun, & authoritative answers.
As an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we receive compensation for qualifying purchases.
Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub  Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


What tank or lining materials are okay for HF, nitric, and other acids?


Q. I've been recommended a pickling mixture of 4% hydrofluoric acid, 12% nitric acid to remove oxide scale at 60 °C.

What materials can I use ?

I guess glass is out due to the HF. Also not all plastics are compatible with nitric acid.

Is stainless steel OK?



Tony Fulford
- Reading, UK

A. I'd suggest talking to a manufacturer of flexible PVC linings (either glued in place or drop-in style) about this application--it sounds fine to me.

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

A. Hi Tony,

I have some doubts that stainless will survive your 'mix' although nitric protects stainless as you know. Why don't you check with the corrosion charts of any local s.s. supplier?

PVC by itself is no good due to temperature deflection (but only perhaps as a lining) but I don't like the idea of the plasticized PVC, which linings are made of, in conjunction with nitrics, especially fairly hot ones as the plasticizer will get leached out.

You should be OK a glass reinforced PVC, a so-called dual laminate. Then there's CPVC, PVDF and the weldable fluorocarbons, which cost a mint. All will take that mix.


freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [deceased]
R.I.P. old friend (It is our sad duty to
advise that Freeman passed away 4/21/12)

A. We used a very heavy (about 1/4") vinyl liner in a heated nitric HF tank and it lasted about 10 years. It would not last as long at 60 °C which is near the upper limit of most vinyl liners. You are probably looking at a CPVC tank with a fiberglass coating for strength. They tend to be dear when it comes to price.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

A. Tony, Your best bet is to use a polypro outer tank with a 1/4" PVC liner. The liner will need to be replaced at least once per year. For heating, use Hot water through a teflon coil. Keep the pressure though the coil below 20 pounds per square inch. George Fischer (GF) manufacturers the best line of teflon coils. For teflon heaters less than 12000 watts call Lufran. Sincerely,

Skip Schaefer
- Pomona,California

A. Tony,

Unless you enjoy replacing your tank on an annual basis, I suggest using a PFA teflon tank. If you are using 4% HF, 12% nitric acid, a PFA tank will give you the best longevity for your money.

Jono Choi
- Arcadia, California, USA

Multiple threads were merged: please forgive repetition, chronology errors, or disrespect towards other postings [they weren't on the same page] :-)

Coating for Electropolish Containment Tank

Q. I am looking for a material that can be applied to our spill containment tank around our electropolish tanks. Our containment tank developed some cracks when it was moved. I need a coating that will stand up to the electropolish solution and something that will seal cracks in the tank to allow it to be washed out.

Brad Wilson
- Simi Valley, California , USA

A. I don't think I'd trust anything but a drop-in flexible liner considering the cracks and the poor adhesion to an old surface that I'd expect. What is the containment tank made of? Polypro? FRP?

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

simultaneous replies

A. Too many unsaid variables. Concentration of each component of your EP solution. If there are proprietary components, you better ask the manufacturer of what you can use and more specifically, what you should not use. Next, what is the ambient temp under the tank. Drip spills or splashes?

Initial gut reaction is pull the tanks out, use a chopper fiberglass unit with the appropriate formulation, smooth out, apply a very tight weave veil coat and at least two coats of gel coat on top of that. Put the tanks back in.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

A. Brad,

You didn't spec out what that thar tank is made of ... and lacking info, how in the heck do you expect anyone to try to help you?

As Ted suggests, a drop-in liner should work OK ... The normal liners being plasticized PVC.

Then if that tank is just for overflow purposes, instead of a heavy (& expensive liner) go to a swimming pool Company and get a liner from them ... the swimming pool liners do come in a variety of thicknesses but nothing as heavy as an industrial 1/8" or 3/l6" thick PVC liner.

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

Multiple threads were merged: please forgive repetition, chronology errors, or disrespect towards other postings [they weren't on the same page] :-)

Liner material for nitric acid tanks

Q. We have to use an existing Mild steel tank to supply nitric acid (60% concentration). I would like to know the type of liner material to be provided in the tank. Size of the tanks is 3 m X 3 m X 4 m. Also please note that the lining is to be preferably done at a construction site.


Ramesh Babu
Engineering & Consultancy - Bangalore, Karnataka, India

A. Nitric acid tanks would ideally be made of 316L stainless steel, but a PVC drop-in liner will work if you don't overheat it when adding acid.

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

adv.    industrial heating systems

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"