Common names for chemicals and selection of appropriate stainless steel grades

Introduction

The table is referenced by the common name.
The 'appropriate grades' notes are taken from the Avesta Sheffield Corrosion Handbook and are shown for general guidance only.
Specific grade selections should be rechecked with corrosion tables. A link to the BSSA web site article that describes where to find the corrosion tables on the Outokumpu Stainless web site can be found in the Related Links section of this article.

Common chemical names

Common name Chemical name Formula Grade selection
alum potassium aluminium sulphate KAl(SO4)2 304 or 316 useful at all concentrations, up to 50C
aqua fortis nitric acid HNO3 Selection of stainless steels for handling nitric acid (HNO3)
aqua regia nitric and hydrochloric acid mixture HNO3 and HCl Likely to attack most stainless steels This mixture is used for dissolving gold.
bleach sodium hypochlorite NaOCl Selection of stainless steels for handling sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) - Bleach
caustic potash potassium hydroxide KOH similar selection as for sodium hydroxide
caustic soda sodium hydroxide NaOH Selection of stainless steels for handling sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
chromic acid chromium trioxide CrO3 304 or 316 useful up to 40%, 20C
ethanol (alcohol) ethyl alcohol C2H5OH 304 or 316 useful at all concentrations, up to boiling point
glycol ethylene glycol (anti-freeze preparations) C2H4(OH)2 304 or 316 useful at all concentrations at ambient (or lower) temperatures
gypsum calcium sulphate CaSO4 304 or 316 useful at all concentrations, up to boiling point
Javelle (javel) water sodium hypochlorite NaOCl Selection of stainless steels for handling sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) - Bleach
Labarraque's solution sodium hypochlorite NaOCl Selection of stainless steels for handling sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) - Bleach
marine acid hydrochloric acid HCl Selection of stainless steels for handling hydrochloric acid (HCl)
methanol (alcohol) methyl alcohol CH3OH 304 or 316 useful at all concentrations, up to boiling point
muriatic acid hydrochloric acid HCl Selection of stainless steels for handling hydrochloric acid (HCl)
oil of vitriol sulphuric acid H2SO4 Selection of stainless steels for handling sulphuric acid (H2SO4)
oleum concentated sulphuric acid H2SO4 Selection of stainless steels for handling sulphuric acid (H2SO4)
rock salt sodium chloride NaCl Crevice and pitting corrosionhazard with most stainless steels, depending on conditions
salt acid hydrochloric acid HCl Selection of stainless steels for handling hydrochloric acid (HCl)
spirit of salt hydrochloric acid HCl Selection of stainless steels for handling hydrochloric acid (HCl)
sulphurated hydrogen hydrogen sulphide H2S Can be a pitting or (stress corrosion cracking hazard) to non-molybedum alloyed stainless grades
wood acid acetic acid (mainly) CH3COOH Selection of stainless steels for handling acetic acid (CH3COOH)

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