Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Is 304 SS Nitric Acid Stainless Steel?

February 26th, 2021 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Used in woodworking, food cleaning and in the manufacturing of many fertilizers and polymers, Nitric Acid is a very strong oxidizing medium. Therefore, chromium content plays an important role in the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel. An assessment conducted by Girjija Suresh, V.R. Raju, U. Kamachi and R.K. Dayal and published in The International Journal of Corrosion Processes and Corrosion Control tested the effect of nitric acid concentrations ranging from 1 to 10 at varying temperatures on 304L Stainless Steel. Their results showed that the corrosion resistance of the material began to deteriorate at a concentration of 4N and at temperatures of 333K and above.

By regulation, nitric acid should be stored in 304 grade stainless steel drums. 304 is a medium grade stainless steel widely known as food grade stainless steel. The chromium content in nitric acid stainless steel containers prevent reaction between the acid and the container, thus preventing corrosion. At Skolnik, we offer 304 stainless steel containers in a variety of sizes and configurations including seamless or crevice-free containers to further prevent a reaction or bacteria accumulation in the crevice of the drum.

Nitric acid is classified as a Hazardous Material – it is imperative that this highly corrosive material be contained within a material and container certified to hold it.

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