Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nitrogen for Corrosion - A Safe and Reliable Solution

Nitrogen presents a safe and reliable solution for corrosion prevention.  Corrosion can be a major issue for any industry or operating system that combines metal, moisture, and exposure to oxygen or metal exposed to acids, bases, salts, oils, solid and liquid chemicals, and some gaseous materials.  Corrosion can eat right through metal, starting with pinhole leaks and leading to inefficient or inadequate operation of the system - and ultimately system failure.

Industries at risk for corrosion include facilities such as power generating plants that utilize cooling towers or other water related cooling mechanisms as well as HVAC systems, Fire Protection Systems (FPS), chemical processing, water treatment, and more.

How Can Nitrogen Prevent Corrosion?

Nitrogen gas is particularly effective at preventing and inhibiting corrosion in enclosed metal vessels such as piping systems or tubing that may come into contact with moisture and also be exposed to oxygen.  Prime examples of this would be the boiler tubes and condensers in power plant cooling towers and the dry or pre-action sprinkler system in fire protection systems.

Power Plant Cooling Towers

Submerged metal parts of cooling towers, such as boiler tubes and condensers, are at risk of exposure to oxygen during shut downs and layups.  When exposed to O2, corrosion can spread rampantly if not actively prevented.  Even with all the water drained, residual moisture is inevitable and corrosion can take hold from there.

A solution here would be to purge all wetted parts with Nitrogen gas to eliminate the presence of oxygen and prevent the risk of developing corrosion.  The most efficient way to apply Nitrogen in this situation is to use a Nitrogen Generator.  This allows for a continuous N2 purge without risk of running out of gas.

Fire Protection Systems

Dry or preaction fire protection systems are generally commercial sprinkler systems that run a supervisory gas through the pipes rather than water.  The water is constrained by a valve held in place by the pressure of the gas.  These systems require testing with water and inevitably residual moisture will be left behind within the pipes.  This situation presents a great risk for microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), a form of corrosion that starts with water-forming bacteria that can spread quickly and destructively throughout the system.

Using Nitrogen as the supervisory gas in dry or preaction FPS eliminates the threat of MIC corrosion by eliminating the presence of oxygen - one of the elements necessary for oxidation (corrosion).  As with power plants, a Nitrogen Generator is the most efficient, reliable, and effective method for applying N2 gas in a steady, continuous supply as needed.  A Nitrogen Generator supplies high purity N2 gas on-site and on-demand with easy operation and minimal upkeep.

Contact South-Tek Systems

South-Tek Systems is an engineering and manufacturing company dedicated to Nitrogen Generators.  They create systems for a wide range of industrial applications as well as military, food and wine, nitrogen tire filling, and more.

Contact South-Tek Systems today to learn how a Nitrogen Generator can help your business prevent corrosion and costly repairs and replacements: 888-526-6284.


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