Keeping the lid on corrosionWorking with corrosive liquids is a “go big or go home” proposition, where nothing less than total commitment will do. On top of doing the utmost to reduce risks to the environment, the job entails an endless fight against the steady molecular wear and tear that these chemicals cause.
This is a reality well understood by Acideka, a Spanish-based company with 40 years of experience in chemicals manufacturing, sales and distribution. Acideka handles large volumes on a daily basis, distributing to its hundreds of customers in Europe and North Africa via its terminal in the Port of Bilbao. Industries from water treatment to pulp and paper production depend on Acideka’s supply chain.
Grade for the purpose
As business was ramping up in 2007, it became obvious that Acideka’s liquid storage capacity at the port was no longer enough to handle the demand. The company decided to upgrade, adding 12 new tanks.
De Dietrich Equipos Químico, the process systems manufacturer Acideka contracted to engineer the tanks, got in touch with Outokumpu in Barcelona to ask for a quote for Supra 316L/4404, an austenitic stainless steel grade that’s typically used for this type of storage.
Outokumpu came back with a better offer. It convinced the company to opt for Forta DX 2304, a duplex stainless steel that has a higher strength than 316L as well as excellent anti-corrosion properties.
Duplex stainless grades are increasingly replacing austenitics for storage and transport tanks, especially when the application demands higher stress corrosion cracking resistance. In larger tanks like Acideka’s, there’s also a benefit of the higher strength-to-weight ratio. This allows down-gauging or using less material and thereby saving weight.
Less handling and welding
Acideka reaped a 20% material savings with its choice of Forta DX 2304 over 316L. Additionally, because Outokumpu could provide the grade in 2-meter-wide coil process plates, less handling and welding was needed.
The result was 12 high-quality tanks. Thanks to the experienced guidance and wise choice of materials that went into making them, they will retain their resilience and integrity for years to come.