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Corrosion Data

The following information was provided on August 2 2000 by Paul Dillon, surely one of the most knowledgeable corrosion engineers of the twentieth century. Here is the full unabridged fax.

"At one time, alloy manufacturers provided articles and in-house publications on aspects of corrosion and related subjects. INCO (now Special Metals, Inc.) even provided free corrosion test racks and coupons, analyzing the data and issuing reports. They published "Corrosion Engineering Bulletins" covering major chemicals such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, etc. These publications discussed processes, uses and corrosion information in mixtures as well as in the corrosive chemicals themselves. NACE International held symposia on Process Industry corrosion problems in 1975 and 1985.

By the 1970s, free information resources began drying up. Consequently in 1976, the Materials Technology Institute of the Chemical Process Industries, Inc. was organized, member companies sharing common problems of a non-proprietary nature. In the mid 1980s, the Nickel Development Institute (NI) was formed to support a number of activities. NiDI took over old INCO publications, AISI publications, etc. and developed their own. It developed a system of Materials Engineering Workshops which have been presented worldwide.

"Corrosion Data" is available in a number of books and in the NACE "CorSur for Windows". It is only reliable in relatively pure chemicals and is most so when indicating what won 't work. The Ch.E. needs advice as to whether (and how) such data pertains to his operation. What he really wants to know is what materials to choose and how to use them. His primary need is a primer on subjects (mechanism, materials, corrosion control, etc., specific to the CPI) There is a plethora of formal books covering both basic and advanced material on the theory of corrosion but such tomes are usually beyond the needs of the work-a-day engineer. However, there is also practical information understandable by anyone with a technical background. Magazines of interest are "Corrosion" magazine and "Materials Performance" and, to perhaps a lesser extent, the ASM publication "Advanced Materials and Processes."

A particularly interesting series of books have been written on the subject of specific hazardous chemicals. To date, these comprise MTI Publication MS- 1 (originally "Concentrated Sulfuric Acid and Oleum", the 2nd edition will cover lesser concentrations as well), MS-2 on organic acids and MS-3 on chlorine, hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid. Others are in the process of being printed, e.g., MS-4 on HF, MS-5 on nitric acid, MS-6 on ammonia and caustic and MS-7 on phosphoric acid.

There are many publications relating to auxiliary utilities, such as steam generation and cooling with recirculated waters. Seawater corrosion literature is widely available. An MTI Publication, No. 43, "Materials Selection for Once-Through Waters", comprises a primer on different types of water from brines to demineralized water and the behavior of specific metals and alloys therein.

It is not reasonable to expect the chemical engineer to become expert in the areas of corrosion/materials engineering-only that they become sufficiently knowledgeable to know where they can go for help, what sort of information they should provide to the consulting individual or organization and to understand the information given them in reply to their inquiry. It is imperative that they understand that "Corrosion Data" per se cannot resolve their problem(s).

The major resource organizations available are NACE International, ASTM, ASM, NI, TelTech and the Materials Technology Institute. NACE can refer one to an appropriated technical committee. ASTM has active committees on corrosion as well as on specific materials. ASM has much information on metals and alloys as well as non-metallics. NiDI offers free consultation on problems relating to nickel-bearing metals, as well as free publications. TelTech member companies can solicit help, for a fee, from a wide variety of scientific and engineering fields. MTI also has publications and information available to the general public.

On the web, most major companies and organizations have potentially helpful sites. Two corrosion-related E-mail lists are available in which questions can be posed for consideration by over 1200 knowledgeable technical people, all willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Scientific and engineering personnel in the Chemical Process Industries are faced with myriad problems pertaining to materials selection for chemical plants. There are numerous resources for them to call on but it is always advisable to seek professional help to properly define the problems and determine appropriate solutions.

A modern and comprehensive document on the subject is the second edition of the classic CORROSION BASICS textbook. Paul actively had participated in the Fist Edition of this famous reference document.