March 2011

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HP Water Management: Passivation in cooling water circuits

Passivation—the formation of a corrosion-resistant oxide on a clean metal surface—is the key to optimizing system reliability on the waterside of heat exchangers. Most plant personnel are aw..

Huchler, L. A., MarTech Systems, Inc.

Passivation—the formation of a corrosion-resistant oxide on a clean metal surface—is the key to optimizing system reliability on the waterside of heat exchangers. Most plant personnel are aware of the risks of corrosion. However, they are not aware of the importance of passivation. Passivation primer. During passivation, metal oxides convert from a porous, nonprotective form to a tight, adherent, protective form. For carbon steel, the nonprotective oxide, iron hydroxide (FeOH) converts to a moderately protective oxide, hematite (Fe2O3) to the most protective form, magnetite (Fe3O4). Under the right conditions, this conversion reaction is spontaneous. But it is not necessarily a

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