"Material Selection for Mechanical Fasteners in Seawater Service"


"We currently have a cooling tower constructed with silicon-bronze hardware and mechanical fasteners. Cooling media is seawater. The inlet water temperature is approximately 115 deg. F and the outlet temperature is 92 deg. F. Analysis of the cooling tower overflow water indicated that chloride = 35,000 ppm. Many of the fasteners in the free fall area of the water have corroded, especially in the top side of the exposed threads of the bolts. In addition, many of the brackets at the water surface are corroded. We are hoping to upgrade our material. Considering cost, is there any better alternative?"


Don't know about cost; however, you might test the following copper alloys: (1) Admiralty brass (C44300), Aluminum bronze (C61300) and 90-10 Copper-nickel (C70600). Outside of the copper family there is always titanium. Other, probably more expensive alloys, would include the super austenitic family of 300-series stainless steels with high nickel and molybdenum contents, i.e., AL6XN and other similar chemistries.


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