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- Weakening of a material caused by repeatedly
Key Learning Objectives applied loads
- Fatigue failure is likely to occur in equipment
 Mechanical and chemical properties that must be
subject to cyclic loading
considered when selecting materials of construction
6. Creep
for a chemical plant
- Creep is the gradual extension of a material
 Relative costs of common materials of construction
under a steady tensile stress, over a prolonged
 Properties of alloys commonly used in engineering
period of time.
 When to use polymers or ceramic materials
1. Uniform corrosion
* For the chemical process plant, considerations are given
- The term uniform corrosion describes the more
usually to high temperature strength and the ability to resist
or less uniform wastage of material by corrosion,
with no pitting or other forms of local attack.
The most important characteristics to be considered when 2. Galvanic corrosion
selecting a material of construction are the following: - If dissimilar metals are placed in contact, in an
electrolyte, the corrosion rate of the anodic metal
1. Mechanical properties; will be increased, as the metal lower in the
a) Strength–tensile strength; electrochemical series will readily act as a
b) Stiffness–elastic modulus (Young’s modulus); cathode.
c) Toughness–fracture resistance; 3. Pitting
d) Hardness–wear resistance; - Pitting is the term given to very localized
e) Fatigue resistance; corrosion that forms pits in the metal surface.
f) Creep resistance. 4. Intergranular corrosion
2. The effect of high temperature, low temperature, and - Intergranular corrosion is the preferential
thermal cycling on the mechanical properties; corrosion of material at the grain (crystal)
3. Corrosion resistance; boundaries.
4. Any special properties required, such as thermal 5. Stress corrosion
conductivity, electrical resistance, magnetic - Corrosion rate and the form of attack can be
properties; changed if the material is under stress. Some
5. Ease of fabrication—forming, welding, casting combinations of metal, corrosive media, and
6. Availability in standard sizes—plates, sections, tubes; temperature, the phenomenon called stress
7. Cost. corrosion cracking can occur. This is the general
name given to a form of attack in which cracks
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES are produced that grow rapidly, and can cause
premature, brittle failure of the metal.
1. Tensile Strength
6. Erosion – corrosion
- The tensile strength (tensile stress) is a measure
- The term erosion-corrosion is used to describe
of the basic strength of a material. It is the
the increased rate of attack caused by a
maximum stress that the material will withstand,
combination of erosion and corrosion.
measured by a standard tensile test.
7. Corrosion fatigue
2. Stiffness
8. High – temperature oxidation and sulfidation;
- Stiffness is the ability to resist bending and
- Corrosion is normally associated with aqueous
solutions but oxidation can occur in dry
3. Toughness
conditions. Carbon and low alloy steels will
- Toughness is associated with tensile strength,
oxidize rapidly at high temperatures, and their
and is a measure of the material’s resistance to
use is limited to temperatures below 480℃
crack propagation.
4. Hardness
9. Hydrogen embrittlement
- The surface hardness, as measured in a standard
- Hydrogen embrittlement is the name given to the
test, is an indication of a material’s ability to
loss of ductility caused by the absorption (and
resist wear.
reaction) of hydrogen in a metal.
COMMONLY USED MATERIALS OF  A ranking in order of increasing corrosion resistance:


 Low carbon steel (mild steel) is the most commonly

used engineering material
 Cheap  Good mechanical properties and can easily be
 Can be easily worked and welded worked
 Good tensile strength and ductility  Its alloys are preferred for chemical plants
 Not subject to corrosion cracking like stainless steel

 nickel-copper alloy with the metals in the ratio 2:1
 Low Carbon Steel (Mild Steel)
 easily worked on with good mechanical properties up
- Typically contain 0.04% to 0.30% carbon
to 500℃
 not susceptible to stress corrosion cracking in
 Medium Carbon Steel
chloride solutions
- Typically has a carbon range of 0.31% to 0.60%
and a manganese content of 0.060% to 1.65% INCONEL AND INCOLOY
 High Carbon Steel
- Commonly known as “carbon tool steel”  Inconel (typically 76% Ni, 7% Fe, 15% Cr) is used
- Typically has a carbon range between 0.61% to primarily for acid resistance at high temperatures –
1.50% not suitable for use in sulfidizing environments
- It is very hard to cut, bend and weld  Incoloy is a nickel alloy with higher Cr content
- Once heat – treated, it becomes extremely hard (Incoloy 800 is 20% Cr and RA33 is 25% Cr) have
and brittle better oxidation resistance


 Most frequently used corrosion-resistant materials in  Main alloys of copper are the brasses, alloyed with
the chemical industry zinc, and the bronzes, alloyed with tin
 Chromium content must be above 12% to impart  Resistant to caustic alkalis, except ammonia, and to
corrosion resistance in oxidizing conditions many organic acids and salts
 It is added to improve the corrosion resistance in non  Relatively soft, very easy to work on, and used
– oxidizing environments extensively for small-bore pipes and tubes
 They can be divided into three broad classes  Copper is attacked by mineral acids, except cold,
according to their microstructure: dilute, un – aerated sulfuric acid
1. Ferritic: 13–20% Cr, <0.1% C, with no nickel  Main use in the chemical industry is for valves and
2. Austenitic: 18–20% Cr, >7% Ni other small fittings, and for heat exchanger tubes and
3. Martensitic: 12–14% Cr, 0.2 to 0.4% C, up to tube sheets
2% Ni
 The uniform structure of Austenite (face-centered HASTELLOYS
cubic, with the carbides in solution) is the structure
desired for corrosion resistance, and it is these grades  The trade name Hastelloy covers a range of nickel,
that are widely used in the chemical industry. chromium, molybdenum iron alloys that were
developed for corrosion resistance to strong mineral
 Austenitic stainless steels have greater strength than
acids, particularly HCl.
plain carbon steels:

 Pure aluminum lacks mechanical strength but has

higher resistance to corrosion than its alloys.
 The main structural alloys used are the Duralumin
(Dural) range of aluminum – copper alloys (typical
composition 4% Cu, with 0.5% Mg) which have a 2. Thermosetting materials, which have a rigid,
tensile strength equivalent to that of mild steel cross-linked structure; for example, the polyester
and epoxy resins.
 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
 It is a soft, ductile material and is mainly used in the
 Polyolefins
form of sheets (as linings) or pipe.
 Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
 It has a good resistance to acids, particularly sulfuric.  Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)
TITANIUM  Glass – Fiber – Reinforced Plastics (GRP)
 Rubber
 used quite widely in the chemical industry, mainly
for its resistance to chloride solutions
Ceramics are compounds of non – metallic elements and
include the following materials used for chemical plant:
 The corrosion resistance of tantalum is similar to that
 Glass, the borosilicate glasses (hard glass)
of glass, and it has been called a metallic glass.
 Stoneware
ZIRCONIUM  Acid-resistant bricks and tiles
 Refractory materials
 used in the nuclear industry because of their low  Cements and concrete
neutron absorption cross-section and resistance to hot
water at high pressures Ceramic materials have a cross-linked structure and are
therefore brittle.

 Silver linings are used for vessels and equipment

handling hydrofluoric acid.
 It is also used for special applications in the food and
pharmaceutical industries where it is vital to avoid
contamination of the product.


 Highly resistant to attack by dilute nitric acid and hot

concentrated sulfuric acid, but is dissolved by aqua
regia (a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric


 has a high resistance to oxidation at high temperature


 Corrosion-resistant materials for chemical plant

 Widely used in food processing and biochemical
 Can be divided into two broad classes:
1. Thermoplastic materials, which soften with
increasing temperature; for example, polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) and polyethylene.

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