"Cast Iron Corrosion by Molten Zinc"

Question:

"I am trying to find information on the corrosion properties of a Zinc and Cast Iron system. My company manufactures Zinc Oxide. We are developing a new process to use zinc sheets melted in a cast iron kettle. However, on the first trial of the system after operatiing for approximately 2.5 weeks the kettle developed a cratered surface and eventually a hole. It appears that the iron is taken into solution by the Zn. The thought is that the corrosion process is Temperature dependant. The difficulty is that we have not been able to find any information on the relation ship between Zn and Fe for this purpose. Could you provide any information on extending the kettle life or some direction as to where this information may be available?"

Answer:

We do not claim to be experts in this area; however, the limited research that I conducted suggests that cast iron is in common use for melting zinc alloys for die casting applications. I could find no references to deterioration of cast iron as you described attributed to molten zinc. You described the holing of the cast iron vessel as "a corrosion process". I'm not certain that this is an accurate description of the deterioration that is occurring as "corrosion" is typically thought of as aqueous and involving an electrolyte.

 

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