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Table of Corrosive Chemicals

Chemicals and Industrial Materials to which Motors, Gears, and Drives may be Subjected

Alkaline Solutions: are variable in their action on aluminum. The pH of alkaline solutions is not a reliable indicator of the performance of aluminum in these solutions. Although bases such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide attack aluminum, many others, such as ammonium hydroxide and hexamine, are handled in aluminum equipment.

Aluminum Sulfate: (alum, peral alum, pickle alum) is handled in aluminum cooling trays to avoid product contamination. The rate of attack is low at room temperature and varies directly with concentration and temperature. Aluminum piping for aluminum sulfate solutions is in use in the paper industry.

Ammonia: gas (dry) has no action on aluminum, even at elevated temperatures. When ammonia is moist or in solution, the rate of attack also is low for all concentrations at temperatures up to at least 1200F. Aluminum handling and process equipment are widely used.

Ammonium Carbonate: has negligible corrosive action on aluminum. Aluminum tankage, piping and subliming equipment are in use. The product is not discolored by contact with aluminum.

Ammonium Chloride: solutions cause moderate pitting on unprotected aluminum.

Ammonium Nitrate: and its solutions are handled extensively in aluminum. Aluminum does not render the nitrate unstable.

Ammonium Nitrate, Ammoniated: does not attack aluminum. Aluminum pressure vessels, storage tanks, piping and tank cars are excellent for handling these nitrogen fertilizer solutions.

Aniline: vapors and liquid at room temperature do not attack aluminum. Aluminum resists corrosion even at elevated temperatures, provided a trace of moisture is present. Aluminum equipment is used in process handling aniline at elevated temperatures.

Asphalt: has no action on aluminum.

Benzene: has no action on aluminum. Aluminum containers, tankage, heat exchangers, distillation columns and piping are in service.

Boraz: in dilute solutions at temperatures up to 1750F, is without action on aluminum. Aluminum equipment is in service in contact with borax solutions in the emulsification of waxes and gums.

Boric Acid: has little action on aluminum. Aluminum drying kilns, trays, bucket conveyors and hoods for bottom closings for centrifuges are in service in boric acid plants.

Butane: has no action on aluminum.

Butter: (containing up to 8% salt) is handled satisfactorily in aluminum. Aluminum butter churns and foil wrappers are in service.

Buttermilk: is bottled in containers with unlined aluminum foil hoods.

Butyl Alcohol: pure or in solution, has no action on aluminum at room temperature. Even at the boiling point, aluminum may be used, provided a trace of moisture is present in the alcohol. Aluminum decanters and heat exchangers are used for butanol-water mixtures. Aluminum storage tanks are used for the pure alcohol.

Calcium Carbonate: solutions cause only negligible action on aluminum.

Calcium Chloride: solutions at room temperatures have a slight action on aluminum. Aluminum equipment is used with chromate-inhibited calcium chloride brines. Molten calcium chloride is corrosive to aluminum.

Calcium Gluconate: is processed in aluminum tanks to avoid discoloration.

Calcium Propionate: is stored in aluminum tanks.

Calcium Silicate: is dried in aluminum rotary dryers.

Calcium Sulfate:, in saturated solution, has negligible action on aluminum at room temperature.

Calcium Sulfide: has negligible action on aluminum. Horticultural spray formulations containing up to about 20% calcium sulfide have been handled in aluminum equipment.

Cane Sugar Liquors: are handled in aluminum piping, crystallizers and heating equipment.

Carbon Dioxide: has no action on aluminum at room or elevated temperatures, even when moisture is present.

Carbon Disulfide: has no action on aluminum even at the boiling point. Aluminum absorbers, distillation columns, condensers and piping are used in carbon disulfide recovery systems.

Carbonic Acid: has negligible action on aluminum. Aluminum equipment is in use handling carbonated beverages. Aluminum steam condensate lines have replaced steel in installations where carbon dioxide is associated with the steam.

Cellulose Acetate: has no action on aluminum. Aluminum tankage, piping, trays, rotary dryers, fume ducts, hoods and conveyors are used in the production of cellulose acetate.

Cellulose Nitrate: plants employ aluminum fume ducts, ventilating hoods, washing tanks and centrifugal extractors.

Cement: after hardening, has no appreciable action on aluminum. During the setting-up period, minor action occurs which may be prevented by the use of a coating. Galvanic action in presence of highly conductive cements, such as magnesium oxychloride cement, can be inhibited by the addition of chromate. Aluminum strips are used in terrazzo floors.

Cereals: may be handled in aluminum equipment. A variety of industrial cooking utensils are in general use.

Cheese: is handled in aluminum cheese molds and vats. Aluminum foil wrappings, both plain and lacquered, are widely used.

Chocolate: does not attack aluminum. It is processed in aluminum steam-jacketed kettles, molds and tanks and packaged in foil.

Chromic Acid: solutions have a moderate action on aluminum which varies directly with concentration and temperature.

Citric Acid: is produced in aluminum fermentation pans, crystallizers and storage tanks. Aluminum is non-toxic, has a minimum effect on fermentation processes, and does not discolor the product.

Clay: slurries are handled in aluminum piping, fittings and valves because of low friction losses, portability and the elimination of iron oxide contamination in the clay.

Coal: has been handled for many years in aluminum mining equipment such as trucks, hopper cars, chutes, skips, cages, trolleys, pip props and hand tools. Despite some corrosion, aluminum pipe has been found to be the most economical material for handling acid mine water.

Coal Gas: does not attack aluminum.

Coal Tar Bases: do not attack aluminum. Their color is unaffected by contact with aluminum.

Corn Products: plants are taking increasing advantage of the high resistance to corrosion of aluminum roofing, siding, handrails and architectural trim. In the process, aluminum hoods, ducts, piping and screw-type starch conveyors are in service.

Corn Syrup: has no action on aluminum. Aluminum piping, tankage and shipping drums are in service.

Cottonseed Oil: is processed, stored and shipped in aluminum.

Cream of Tartar: (Potassium Bitartrate) is handled in aluminum equipment because aluminum does not discolor the product.

Creosote: vapors have been handled in aluminum coils and heat exchanger tube bundles for more than 15 years in a tar distillation plant. Aluminum storage tans and shipping drums are in use.

Dextrose: solutions have no action on aluminum at room or elevated temperatures.

Dextro-Lactic Acid: is produced from glucose in aluminum fermentation equipment.

Dyes: must be considered individually. Aluminum can be used to handle neutral dyes for cotton, linen, vegetable and other natural and synthetic fibers. Many acid dyes and direct dyes also are suitable with aluminum. Aluminum drying pans, dye kettles and dye sticks are in service. Lithopone, ultramarine and chrome dyes can be handled in aluminum. Vat dyeing solutions, however, because of their high alkalinity, should not be handled in aluminum equipment.

Ethyl Alcohol: and its solutions do not attack aluminum up to the boiling point. Commercial absolute alcohol is not corrosive at the boiling point.

Ethyl Benzene: has been handled in aluminum heat exchanger tubes form more than five years. Ethyl benzene contacts the tube side, and a mixture of steam and carbon dioxide contacts the shell side.

Ethylene Glycol: has negligible action on aluminum at room or boiling temperatures. Contaminated solutions may be inhibited effectively in many cases. Certain plastics containing ethylene glycol are formulated in aluminum vessels to avoid discoloration.

Fermentation: process equipment often is designed in aluminum because aluminum is nontoxic to organisms used in these operations.

Flue Gases: have a variety of actions on aluminum. Aluminum chimney liners and vents for domestic gas-fired appliances are used extensively. Under condensing conditions, some attack occurs when high sulfur fuels are burned.

Fruit Juices: usually can be processed and handled in aluminum equipment. Orange squeezers of aluminum have been used for many years. Frozen juices are packed in aluminum foil wrappers or aluminum impact-extruded tubes.

Gasoline: does not attack aluminum. Where substantial amounts of "sump water" collect in the bottom of the tank, alclad materials are preferred. Aluminum tanks for high octane gasoline are standard for aircraft.

Glucose: and its solutions do not attack aluminum.

Glue: is processed in aluminum tubs, pans, drying screens, drying tunnels and dehumidifying systems.

Glycerine: and its solutions have no action on aluminum. Aluminum stills, condensers, heat exchangers, receivers, storage tanks and tank cars are in service with natural and synthetic glycerine.

Hydrochloric Acid: solutions are corrosive to aluminum, but the attack in dilute solutions can be reduced by inhibitors.

Hydrogen: has no effect on aluminum. Aluminum equipment is used to produce liquid hydrogen in a heavy water plant.

Hydrogen Peroxide: is processed, stored and shipped in aluminum distillation towers, heat exchangers, storage tanks, piping, tank cars and shipping drums. Aluminum is the preferred material for producing and shipping hydrogen peroxide in all commercial concentrations.

Hydrogen Sulfide: has negligible action on aluminum. Aluminum storage tank roofs for sour crude oils, bubble caps in petroleum distillation towers and heat exchanger tubes are in service.

Ice Cream: is handled in aluminum trays, molds, pans, insulated storage tanks and freezer parts.

Kerosene: has no action on aluminum.

Ketones: generally are without action on aluminum, even at their boiling points.

Lacquers: and their solvents are handled in aluminum tanks and piping to avoid discoloration.

Lactic Acid: solutions, at room temperature, have negligible action on aluminum. The anhydrous acid is stored in aluminum tanks.

Lactose: (Milk Sugar), when pure has no action on aluminum.

Lard Oil: has no action on aluminum and is used as a forming or rolling lubricant in the fabrication of aluminum parts.

Linseed Oil: is handled in aluminum equipment at elevated temperatures. Drying agents, such as lead and manganese compounds do not cause difficulty. Local overheating should be avoided since decomposition products may cause some attack.

Magnesium Carbonate: solutions have no action on aluminum.

Magnesium Chloride: solutions, below 1% in concentrations, cause only staining of aluminum at room temperature. Dilute solutions above 1% by weight cause moderate pitting on aluminum.

Magnesium Sulfate: solutions have virtually no action on aluminum. Oxygen-saturated 50% solutions at 1500F, used in the weighting of silk, are handled in aluminum to avoid product discoloration.

Meats: are processed in aluminum. Aluminum is an approved material for utensils and equipment used in the meat packing industry.

Milk: when fresh, at temperatures up to the boiling point, has no action on aluminum, and aluminum imparts no taste to the milk. Aluminum milker pails, coolers, tanks, piping and cans are used with whole milk and sweetened or unsweetened condensed milk. Powdered milk is dried in aluminum towers. Aluminum foil milkhoods are in service for sealing bottles. Sour milk may cause a slight action because of its acidity.

Mine Waters: cause attack of aluminum which varies with the nature and concentration of salts present in solution. Coal mine waters usually contain sulfuric acid. Nonetheless, aluminum piping is used because the life of aluminum pipe is several times as long as the life of steel pipe and more than compensates for the difference in initial cost.

Molasses: has negligible action on aluminum.

Naphthalene: is processed in aluminum stills, reactors, fractionators, heat exchangers, piping, receivers and storage tanks at temperatures above 3000F.

Naval Stores: such as turpentine, rosin, copal, pentene, dipentene and pinene are widely handled in aluminum equipment.

Nitric Acid: in concentrations over 82% by weight, (including red fuming nitric acid) has a negligible action on aluminum.

Nitrous Gases: when dry, have only a slight action on aluminum at room temperature. Some etching occurs in the presence of moisture.

Orange Juice: is handled in aluminum equipment. Aluminum does not effect the flavor of the juice.

Ozone: when dry, does not attack aluminum. A superficial attack may occur in the presence of moist ozone, but it is not enough to discourage the use of aluminum in the construction of ozonizers.

Pickle Liquor: a solution of acetic acid and sodium chloride, causes pitting of aluminum.

Potassium Chloride: solutions have only slight action on aluminum and are similar to solutions of sodium chloride.

Potassium Nitrate: solutions have negligible action on aluminum, even at elevated temperatures. Aluminum tankage is in service handling solutions of potassium nitrate.

Sauerkraut Juice: is similar to pickle liquor in its actions on aluminum, causing a pitting type of attack.

Soaps: of many kinds are handled in aluminum, depending on pH. Alkaline soaps that cause some action on aluminum may be inhibited by the addition of silicates.

Sodium Bicarbonate: solutions have a negligible action on aluminum at room temperature.

Sodium Carbonate: solutions cause some attack on aluminum, the rate varying directly with concentration and temperature.

Sodium Chloride: both in solid form and in solution, is handled extensively in aluminum equipment.

Sodium Hydroxide: solutions dissolve aluminum readily.

Sodium Nitrate: solutions have a negligible action on aluminum.

Sodium Sulfate: solutions have negligible action on aluminum at room or elevated temperature.

Spirits: such as whiskies, brandies and gins, may be handled in aluminum for short-time exposure, but undergo slight changes in flavor and clarity if stored or left in prolonged contact with aluminum. Corrosive attack on the aluminum is slight.

Steam: even when containing carbon dioxide, does not corrode aluminum at temperatures up to 4800F. Aluminum surface condensers, condensate lines and condensate tanks are being used in power plants.

Sulfur: has no corrosive action on aluminum.

Sulfuric Acid: varies in its action on aluminum depending on concentration and temperature. Very dilute solutions of sulfuric acid are handled in aluminum equipment at room temperature.

Turpentine: is handled extensively in aluminum equipment.

Vapors and Fumes: of many varieties are handled in aluminum equipment. Aluminum ventilating canopies, hoods and ducts are widely used for removing fumes from nitrating processes. Aluminum ducts have given excellent service in applications for venting fumes containing considerable H2S, SO2, SO3, CO2, or NH3.

Waters: vary in their action on aluminum. Distilled water regularly is stored and piped in aluminum equipment. High quality deionized water has no action on aluminum. Unpolluted rain water does not corrode aluminum. Fresh and salt waters in the pH range 4.5 - 8.5 cause only negligible attack of aluminum even at the boiling point, but certain of these waters cause pitting because they contain traces of heavy metal salts. Alclad alloys prevent premature perforation under these circumstances and are recommended for equipment handling salt water. A number of aluminum heat exchangers are in service employing salt water cooling. Aluminum may be used with practically all recirculated waters.

Wines: have various actions on aluminum. Light wines have little effect on aluminum, but the heavy and white wines, which contain some free sulfurous acid, tend to become turbid when in contact with aluminum.