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MATERIALS

HEAT

OF CONSTRUCTION

EXCHANGERS
V.
O.

Yu. Babkina,
V. Gapunina,

IN SODA

FOR
ASH

PLATE

PRODUCTION

I . K. V a s i l ' e v a ,
and E. G. Chub

UDC [66.045:661.321.3]:669.018.8

Studies have b e e n c a r r i e d out at the S c i e n t i f i c - R e s e a r c h Institute of B a s i c C h e m i s t r y (NIOKhIM) to


select m a t e r i a l s of construction for fabricating plate heat e x c h a n g e r s to cool a m m o n i a t e d b r i n e .
Composition of a m m o n i a t e d b r i n e is 108 g / l i t e r Na +, 166 g / l i t e r C1-, 50 g / l i t e r NH3, 30 g / I i t e r
CO32-, and 0.4-0.8 g / l i t e r Na2S. It is quite c o r r o s i v e , causing pitting and c r e v i c e c o r r o s i o n of p a s s i v a t e d
metals and rapid c o r r o s i o n of c a r b o n steel.
The studies w e r e c a r r i e d out under industrial conditions using a m m o n i a t e d b r i n e . The following
m a t e r i a l s of construction w e r e studied: 12Kh18N10T, 10Kh17N13M2T, 08Khl8N10T, and 06KhN28MDT
s t a i n l e s s s t e e l s with v a r i o u s s u r f a c e finishes; VT1-0 titanium; AD1 a l u m i n u m alloy; and t e s t p i e c e s
f a b r i c a t e d of c o r r u g a t e d plates contacting each other.
The r e s u l t s showed that all types of s t a i n l e s s s t e e l s investigated a r e subject to pitting and c r e v i c e
c o r r o s i o n . Lower c a r b o n content and s u r f a c e finish (eliminating flaws caused by rolling: polishing,
pickling) i n c r e a s e s the r e s i s t a n t of s t e e l s to pitting but does not eliminate it. I n c r e a s e d local c o r r o s i o n
was o b s e r v e d at the c o r r u g a t i o n peaks when the c o r r u g a t i o n s w e r e in contact. Pitting of s t a i n l e s s steel
in cooling w a t e r is m i n o r . T i t a n i u m VT1-0 and a l u m i n u m alloy AD1 exhibited good c o r r o s i o n r e s i s t a n c e
in a m m o n t a t e d b r i n e : no c o r r o s i o n was o b s e r v e d at the c o r r u g a t i o n peaks when they w e r e in contact even
under s e v e r e conditions. Anode p o l a r i z a t i o n c u r v e s w e r e a l s o r e g i s t e r e d f r o m polished e l e c t r o d e s at a
2 V/h potential application r a t e a f t e r keeping the electrode in the 60~ solution for 10 min. Electrode
s u r f a c e was cleaned i m m e d i a t e l y b e f o r e its i m m e r s i o n in the solution. A s a t u r a t e d m e r c u r o u s chloride
e l e c t r o d e s e r v e d as the r e f e r e n c e .
E l e c t r o c h e m i c a l m e a s u r e m e n t s showed that c o r r o s i o n p r o c e s s e s take place m o r e slowly (0.01 re_A/
c m 2) on titanium than on s t a i n l e s s s t e e l s (0.8 m A / c m 2) in an a m m o n i a t e d brine containing 0.4 g / l i t e r Na2S.
Steel is subjected to pitting c o r r o s i o n at about +0.5 V potential while titanium exhibits stable p a s s i v a t i o n
at even higher positive potentials. The breakdown potential of s t a i n l e s s steels and titanium is shifted by
~+0.3 V and the p a s s i v a t i o n zone is widened.
T e s t plates of VT1-0 titanium w e r e f a b r i c a t e d for c o m m e r c i a l testing with "herringbone" c o r r u g a tion layout. Plate s u r f a c e was p u r p o s e l y not machined.
Two methods of plate installation w e r e used: 1) without a gap so that the plate c o r r u g a t i o n s w e r e in
contact during operation and 2) with a 5 - m m g a p c r e a t e d by r u b b e r g a s k e t s .
Solids deposition occurs during plate operation, both f r o m the solution and the cooling-water side.
This r e d u c e s the h e a t - t r a n s f e r coefficient and i n c r e a s e s local c o r r o s i o n . It was o b s e r v e d that the fouling
r a t e for plates with a "fixed" gap is much lower. It has b e e n established [1, 2] that clean s t a i n l e s s - s t e e l
s u r f a c e s a r e less prone t o pitting than fouled s u r f a c e s . The plates must t h e r e f o r e be periodically cleaned,
either mechanically or chemically (washing in an oxidizing fluid) [3, 4]. The chemical cleaning method is
p r e f e r r e d since it provides complete and fast cleaning of plate s u r f a c e s and does not r e q u i r e d i s a s s e m b l y
of the e x c h a n g e r . T e s t s showed that 5-10% HNO~ solution is most effective. It does not cause c o r r o s i o n
of the metals investigated, a s s i s t s in r e s t o r i n g the p r o t e c t i v e film on the metal, and g e n e r a t e s an easily
soluble p r e c i p i t a t e . Cleaning t i m e does not exceed 2 h. The heat exchanger is connected to a circulating
T r a n s l a t e d f r o m Khimicheskoe i Neftyanoe Mashinostroenie, No. 2, p. 23, F e b r u a r y , 1976.

9
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loop consisting of a tank, pump, and piping. All parts of the loop must be fabricated of stainless steel or
be protected to prevent contamination of the washing solution by iron corrosion products which cause local
corrosion of stainless steel. The loop must have a vent valve for gases formed during dissolution of the
precipitate.
The titanium plates retained their original shape after 1.5 months of testing.
failure were observed.

No traces of local

Titanium VT1-0 can, therefore, be recommended as a promising material of construction for


ammoniated brine plate heat exchangers of soda ash production.
Heat exchangers constructed of chromium-- nickel or Chromium-- nickel-- molybdenum steel with
electropolarized plates have a limited service life.
LITERATURE

2.
3.
4.

CITED

L. M. Kolomb'e, "Certain aspects of stainless-steel corrosion in water," in: Metal Corrosion


(edited by A. P. Zefarova) [in Russian], Metallurgizdat, Moscow (1964).
I. B. Ulanovskii and Yu. M. Korovin, "The effect of oxygen concentration on failure initiation in
narrow gaps," Zh. Prik. Khim., No. 8, 1753 (1962).
P. A. Akol'zin and V. V. Gerasimov, Corrosion of Materials of Construction in Nuclear and Thermal Power Plants [in Russian], Vysshaya Shkola (1963).
L. M. Kolomb'e, Stainless and Heat-Resistant Steels (edited by M. L. Bernshtein) [in Russian],
Moscow (1958).

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