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Comment Processing & Handling

Chemical Resistance of Thermoplastics

By Chemical Engineering |

Corrosion is estimated to account for a significant portion — 8–10% — of total annual-plant-capital expenditures for the chemical process industries. To avoid it, engineers can consider corrosion-resistant plastics for process piping and storage vessels. Thermoplastics are generally resistant to chemical attack and thus suitable for many process applications. However, plastics must be selected based on process specifics. When chemicals affect plastics, it usually happens as: chemical solvation or permeation, where physical properties may change, but the polymer molecular structure is not chemically altered; and direct chemical attack, where a chemical reaction with the polymer occurs.   Chemical resistance of selected commercial thermoplastics and elastomers Name Notes Recommended Uses Uses to Avoid ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) Smooth inner surface and resistance to deposit formation Resistant to a wide variety of materials up to 65ºC (150°F) •Commercial sanitary systems •Weak acids Oxidizing acids PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Most frequently specified of all thermoplastic materials •Chilled water •Deionized water, irrigation •Salt solutions •Acids •Alkalis Polar solvents, such as ketones CPVC…
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