Non-reactive stainless steel is used when storing chemicals that are incompatible with carbon steel or that corrode carbon steel. These include acids such as sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid, and bases such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. In addition, some chemists prefer using stainless steel because it does not react with other materials in the lab. This means that if you accidentally spill an acidic solution on your hands, you won't be burned.
Stainless steel is also used for chemical processing equipment, food packaging, and medical devices. It resists corrosion from most chemicals, but can rust if exposed to certain types of acids.
304L & 316L Stainless Steel Storage Tanks
Grade 304L stainless is a low carbon version of grade 304. It's the most expensive but the best choice for large tanks that need a lot of welding. The low carbon content prevents the formation of chrome carbides in the areas adjacent to welds, which reduces their chances of rusting.
Grade 316L is the most commonly used type of stainless steel after grade 304L. It contains some molybdenium, which is generally between 2 and 3 percent.
Significance of "L" in both the material grades.
The addition of molybdenium makes 316L-stain less susceptible to corrosion than 304L. 316 stainless steel is particularly well suited for resisting sulfuric acid and the high temperatures associated with some food processing and pharmaceutical applications, making it an ideal material for use in these applications.
It should be noted that 316L is more vulnerable than 304L to nitric acid and similar highly oxidizing acids. 316 is less resistant to acids than 304.
Marine applications often use 316 stainless steel because it resists salt water corrosion. Because of its high corrosion resistance, it is often referred to as “marine-grade stainless steel.
Like 304, 316 also comes in an “L’ version, 316L. Like 304L, 316L has a lower carbon content than 316L stainless steel. It’s recommended for larger products with a lot of welding.
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