Stainless steels are corrosion-resistant, but to take full advantage of their corrosion-resistant properties, stainless steel piping and components must be properly specified, installed, and operated. The recommendations included in this article are intended to arm engineers and operators with a screening-level tool for avoiding misapplication. To properly select the right grade of stainless steel for the various environmental conditions existing in different areas of the process, equipment, piping, and conveyance systems must be defined, including chlorides, pH, free chlorine in solution, bacteria, and temperature. Considering the environments that occur during idle, startup, normal operations, and shutdown conditions within treatment and conveyance facilities is also important. Once the stainless steel is specified and manufactured, proper care over its shipping, installation, and operation must be taken to protect the integrity of the materials to minimize corrosion.
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