Corrosion of Selected Metals and a High-Temperature Thermoplastic in Hypersaline Geothermal Brine
Description:The Bureau of Mines conducted corrosion research to determine suitable construction materials for geothermal resource recovery plants. Weight loss, pitting and crevice corrosion, U-bend stress corrosion, and electrochemical polarization measurements were made on selected metals in brine and steam process environments produced from high-enthalpy hypersaline brine from geothermal well Magmamax No. 1 at the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resources Area, Imperial Valley, Calif. Cadmium (and by extension cadmium coatings) and a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy were unsatisfactory because of high general corrosion rates and, in the case of aluminum, severe pitting Molybdenum and niobium (columbium) were resistant to general corrosion, pitting, and crevice corrosion, Copper alloys corroded at rates that may preclude their use in wellhead brine, The presence of iron accelerated the corrosion of the copper alloys Titanium alloys were resistant to general corrosion and stress corrosion cracking in all of the environments. They exhibited crevice corrosion in some of the brine and steam environments and Ti6A14V pitted in the brine environments. They exhibited passive behavior over a broad range of potentials. Exposure tests were conducted on a high-temperature polyphenylene sulfide thermoplastic (Ryton) in the same environments. A 40-pct-graphite fiber-reinforced Ryton composite deteriorated readily in wellhead brine and failed in all of the brine and steam process environments; Ryton coatings on 316L stainless steel were adherent and performed well.
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