Last updateTue, 01 Dec 2015 5pm


Power Plant Isolation Valves Beat the Heat

Power Plant Isolation Valves Beat the Heat

About a century ago, pressures of 300 ps...

NACE MR0175/ISO 15156 & NACE MR0103

NACE MR0175/ISO 15156 & NACE MR0103

Q: Is it possible to produce remanufactu...

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Industry Headlines

Texas Manufacturing Activity Increases Again

-1 DAYS AGO  |  Chris Guy

Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in November after exhibiting weakness in the first three quarters, according to business ...



Industry Headlines

AUMA Supplying San Francisco Water Infrastructure Projects


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The WSIP is a major restoration initia...


Schlumberger-Cameron Union Receives Unconditional Clearance


Schlumberger Limited and Cameron International Corporation jointly announce that the U.S. Department of Justice has cleared their proposed merger without any conditions, granting early termination of the waiting period required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect...


Survey: Industrial Sector Poised for Investment Uptick


Investment in industrials is expected to remain a focus despite continued headwinds stemming from weaker commodities and lower export activity according to a survey released today by Baird. Nearly half (46%) of investors plan to increase their investment in industrials in 2016, with another 45% repo...


Global Petrochemical Prices Leveled Off in October


Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market in October were virtually flat based on a monthly average, but edged slightly when valued on a month-end to month-end basis from September. This is the first time the markets have shown intermonth gains since May of this year, according to ...


Texas Manufacturing Activity Increases Again


Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in November after exhibiting weakness in the first three quarters, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, edged up from ...


Durable Goods Orders Up 3% In October


New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased $6.9 billion or 3.0% to $239.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, followed a 0.8% September decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5%. Excluding d...


Multi-colored Stain on Valves

materials_q_and_a_graphicQ: I am handling high purity-water and keep getting a multi-colored stain on my valves and other equipment. What is this, and how can I prevent it?

A: You are describing a phenomenon called "rouging," a term that pertains to the multi-colored stain you are seeing. Rouging is a problem that is seen primarily in high-purity water applications or steam. Though more commonly associated with the pharmaceutical and electronics industries, it can occur most anywhere. At the lower temperatures rouge is red or yellowish in appearance, but in high-temperature steam it will be dark gray or black. The FDA has not made any formal opinion about rouging, but pharmaceutical companies are concerned about contamination of their products so they go to great lengths to prevent it and to clean their systems when it occurs-incurring undesired downtime and expense.

The mechanism of rouging is still not fully understood and as a result there are some myths and misconceptions about what it is and how to prevent it. Essentially, rouge is a form of rust, i.e., iron oxide, but different than the heavy rust seen when stainless steel is not cleaned properly after heat treatment or welding. While normal rust is a result of improper cleaning during manufacture, rouge is a much thinner layer that occurs when perfectly cleaned stainless steel reacts with high-purity water environments. Rouge seems to be more prevalent at temperatures in excess or 60° C.

We know that stainless steels achieve their corrosion resistance by developing a very thin microscopic chromium oxide layer. The general consensus about rouging is that certain services, such as high purity water with very low oxygen content, dissolve this protective layer and allow the stainless steel to resume corroding. This corrosion is then responsible for the staining we call rouging. These stains have been analyzed as being various types of iron oxide as well as containing traces of chromium and nickel.

While mainly an aesthetics problem, most people still want to prevent rouge in their systems. One commonly held belief is that the ferrite phase in cast stainless steels or welds causes rouging, and purchasers of valves and other equipment frequently impose strict limits on the ferrite content of cast stainless steels. Since wrought stainless steels with no ferrite also experience rouging, it doesn't appear that ferrite is the culprit.

A study conducted by AvestaPolarit1, found that the water's gas content and a metal's surface finish were influential for rouging. Basically, water with high oxygen and low carbon dioxide content was less likely to cause rouging as were electro-polished surfaces of the metal components. This study also found no significant correlation for the different alloy grades, including duplex stainless steels with their high ferrite content.

Since most people find rouge objectionable in their systems, much attention has been given to its removal. Various acids and chelates are used to clean systems of rouge, but these can leave behind their own contaminates or films. In addition, if acid exposure is not controlled closely, the acid can etch the metal surfaces thus destroying the expensive electro-polished surfaces. Therefore, the most effective way to prevent rouge is by somehow introducing sufficient oxygen to the system, which helps maintain the protective chromium oxide layer.


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