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Company News, 2003-05-19, 02:00 AM

Safe disposal of aggressive waste: First road tanker made of highly corrosion-resistant special stainless steel

Nicrofer 3127 hMo - alloy 31, a material developed by ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl/Germany, opens up new possibilities for the transportation and storage of hazardous substances such as sulfuric or nitric acid. This iron-nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy has long been used in chemical, petrochemical, environmental, oil and gas sectors because of its high resistance to corrosion in aggressive media makes the alloy the ideal choice. Now it has been used for the first time to build a road tanker to transport hazardous liquids. The special stainless steel from ThyssenKrupp VDM is used for the complete tank, including pipes and other equipment.

The tanker - a so-called suction/pressure vehicle - was built by Kutschke Fahrzeugbau GmbH for disposal contractors Lobbe Deutschland GmbH. Alongside ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, the Federal Institute for Materials Research & Testing (BAM) was also involved in the development of the material as the licensing authority. This collaboration has culminated in a world first which will facilitate the transportation of hazardous goods.

To date, highly aggressive waste materials have been transported in steel tanks with rubber or polymer linings to protect them against corrosion. As liquid waste frequently also has solid content and is pumped into the tanks under high pressure, there is always a danger that the lining could be damaged and the underlying steel exposed to corrosive attack. Waste materials containing solvents - such as paints and lacquers - may also cause the lining to swell, leading to further damage. For this reason, lined steel tanks must be subjected to frequent and thorough inspections. Repairing the lining is a time-consuming and costly process, not least because the vehicles cannot be used productively during this time.

Despite this, lined steel tanks represented the most cost-effective solution for disposal contractors in the past. All-metal transport containers, e.g. made of stainless steel, are of limited use for transporting aggressive fluids. Anyone intending to transport such waste materials in unlined tanks must apply for a separate license each time, for which the BAM examines the corrosion resistance of the material in question. In some cases, transportation is made contingent on subsequent additional checks by the TÜV technical inspectorate.

With the joint project brought to a successful conclusion, the BAM will now create dependable framework conditions for the use of this new alternative material in transporter construction. The eighth edition of the BAM list of authorized materials for the transportation of highly aggressive media will contain not only Nicrofer 3127 hMo, but also two further ThyssenKrupp VDM materials - Nicrofer 5923 hMo - alloy 59 and Cronifer 1925 hMo - with the corresponding material class licenses. On this basis, vehicle manufacturers and transportation contractors will be able to develop a new generation of vehicles featuring durable and corrosion-resistant tanks with significantly reduced maintenance and repair requirements.

ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
Erwin Schneider
Tel.:+49 203 / 52 - 2 56 90
Fax:+49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07

Dietmar Stamm
Tel.: +49 203 / 52 - 2 62 67
Fax:+49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07

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