A critical review on development, performance and selection of stainless steels and nickel alloys for the wet phosphoric acid process

Simbarashe Fashu, Vera Trabadelo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The wet phosphoric acid (WPA) process equipment is exposed to corrosive and wear conditions with aggressiveness determined by the phosphate rock chemical composition and process parameters employed. Stainless steels and nickel alloys are attractive materials considered for WPA plant construction since they are mechanically and chemically robust to withstand the aggressive environment encountered. This review first describes the WPA process emphasizing on the aggressiveness of the environment to plant construction materials. Then, principles behind design and fabrication of stainless steels and nickel alloys with properties tailored to withstand this aggressive environment are described. To withstand corrosion conditions encountered during the WPA process alloys should contain sufficient chromium (Cr), with some molybdenum (Mo) and nickel (Ni) contents and should possess a homogeneous microstructure. Wear resistance in a specific section of the plant is ensured by adjusting the carbon content and carbide formers contents to obtain adequate carbides for protection from abrasion. Reported data on deterioration rates and failure mechanisms of commonly used alloys is first presented before discussing selection and performance of these alloys in different sections of the WPA plant. Future challenges and opportunities in selection of suitable materials and development of novel materials are finally outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111739
JournalMaterials and Design
Volume227
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Materials selection
  • Nickel alloys
  • Stainless steels
  • Wear resistance
  • Wet phosphoric acid

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