"30% Sulfuric Acid and 316L"


"My experience suggests that although there may be better alternatives such as a duplex grade, 316L should be a good alternative for use in a 30% sulfuric acid environment at room temperature. We recently took a sample of 316L, and placed in in 30% sulfuric acid solution at room temp. for 24 hrs., and the sample developed a black discoloration. Is this actually a corrosion product, and if so, do you know what it is? Am I incorrect in my belief that 316L should be suitable for this environment? Will 316L tend to experience some corrosion rate over time in this solution?"


The black corrosion product is probably a chromium oxide. I would not specify 316SS for long term use in room temperature, 30% sulfuric acid, especially where velocities are present. The passive film can be unstable.


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