Continental Steel and the Chlor-Alkali Industry

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It might not be a household name, but the global chlor-alkali industry is a critical part of modern manufacturing. At its most basic, chlor-alkali production is a process by which electrolysis is used to turn sodium chloride (saltwater/brine) into two byproducts: chlorine, and sodium hydroxide. In fact, the chlor-alkali process is responsible for 95% of the world’s chlorine and 100% of sodium hydroxide production.

Continental Steel and the Chlor-Alkali Industry

Of these byproducts, today we will be focusing on sodium hydroxide (NaOH), which you might know as caustic soda. This inorganic compound is a highly caustic metallic base and alkali salt that is used extensively in a variety of major industries such as:

  • Paper, pulp, and cellulose
  • Chemical production
  • Soaps
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Water treatment
  • Cleaning agent
  • Food production
  • Bleach
  • Fabrics
  • Mineral Oils
  • Aluminum and Metals
  • Automotive
  • Glass
  • PVC

Without question, it is critical to use the right materials and metals in this complex and corrosive process. When it comes to the piping and membrane cells that help create the hydroxide part of the formula, nothing works better than pure nickel and nickel alloys.

At Continental Steel, we provide a variety of nickel and nickel-based alloys for products used in the chlor-alkali industry such as valves (ball, butterfly, plug, and diaphragm) and piping. One of our most popular products for caustic soda production is Alloy 20.

Alloy 20, also known as Carpenter® 20 and Incoloy® 20, is an austenitic nickel-iron-chromium alloy. It offers excellent resistance to corrosion, crevice corrosion and pitting as well as being easy to fabricate. These benefits help eliminate external leakage, scaling and downstream leakage, all of which can disrupt chlor-alkali production. Alloy 20 can also be fabricated to produce:

  • Mixing Tanks
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Pickling Equipment
  • Pumps, valves, fasteners, and fittings

To learn more about the role Continental Steel plays in the billion dollar chlor-alkali industry or about our vast selection of nickel and nickel-based products, including Alloy 20, please browse our informative website or contact one of our experts today.

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