Combating corrosion is a common challenge for many working alongside industrial storage tanks. Besides eating into bottom lines, it can also pose serious threats to tank integrity and, thus, worker and environmental safety. If ion exchanges occur in your plant, take note: Due to chemical reactions happening during the process, ion exchanges are prime causes for corrosion — but you can protect your investments.
Ions and exchanges
How does ion exchange corrosion happen? The best place to begin is with ions: An ion is an electrically charged — either positive or negative — atom or group of atoms. In an ion exchange, a chemical reaction between two substances causes these atoms to swap or exchange ions. Atoms trade positive ions for negative, or vice versa, to build or deconstruct materials made of ions. These ionic substances, including crystalline materials like table salt or ammonium, are the results of multiple positively and negatively charged ions linking together in a specific order.
Ions, by nature, are highly soluble, meaning water can easily dissolve them. Therefore, groups of ions known as molecules are very common in water sources. To purify water for drinking or other forms of consumption, these dissolved ionic molecules must be further deconstructed. One easy and cost effective way to accomplish this is through an ion exchange.
Ion exchange processes are very common in water treatment. Through this process, hard water — water with calcium and magnesium molecules dissolved in it — becomes soft. Improving hard water, which is literally “harder” on the human body, pipes, vessels, and facilities, occurs via an ion exchange process. In this exchange, substances react and replace the ions that make up calcium and magnesium atoms with ions that cannot be used to form these molecules. Many other industrial water treatment objectives are possible through ion exchange, including those for chemical treatments, pharmaceuticals, refineries, utility power stations, and others.
Ion exchange risk: Corrosion
As ion exchange processes take place over time, metal and other products in systems may break down at the hands of corrosion. As a result, contaminants may leak into water sources or ion exchange systems may begin to fail. By preventing corrosion in ion exchange processes, you can protect materials, equipment, and outcomes to help ensure success and system longevity.
Solution: Corrosion prevention liners
To prevent corrosion in ion exchange facilities, the experts at Moon Fabricating recommend applying corrosion prevention tank and pipe liners to ensure systems are sealed, corrosion resistant, and will maintain their integrity over time. One option that has proven itself over time is using Ceilcote monolithic fiberglass lining systems for corrosion prevention in ion exchange. By protecting your water treatment facility and ion exchange components, you can enjoy many benefits:
- Reduce maintenance and associated downtime resulting from failure or repairs.
- Ensure system safety and longevity.
- Reduce hazards and system corrosion risks.
The professionals at Moon Fabricating are well versed in ion exchange systems and water treatment facilities. We specialize in custom fabrication and corrosion resistant linings for tanks, pipes, and a huge variety of other applications specific to ion exchange. We work hard to furnish corrosion resistant lining products designed to meet your toughest applications, reducing equipment failure and shutdown costs while protecting your capital investments.