Last updated: August 19, 2018

What Does Brine Mean?

Brine is a solution of salt in water. Salt content can vary, but brine includes salt solutions ranging from about 3.5% (typical concentration of seawater, or the lower end of solutions used for brining foods) up to about 26% (a typical saturated solution, depending on temperature).

Brine is commonly used in large refrigeration installations for the transport of thermal energy from place to place. In colder temperatures, brine can be used to de-ice or reduce freezing temperatures on roads. In cooking, brine is used for food brining and salting.

Pitting and crevice corrosion of metal can occur in brine.


Corrosionpedia Explains Brine

Brine is a concentrated solution of salt in water. It can be any solution of a salt in water e.g., potassium chloride brine. Natural brines occur underground, in salt lakes, or as seawater and are commercially important sources of salts, such as chlorides and sulfates of magnesium and potassium.

Brine can be used in:

  • Preservation of food
  • Heat transfer
  • Vapor absorption
  • Quenching (cooling) of steel

At 212°F (100°C), saturated sodium chloride brine is about 28% salt by weight, whereas at 0°C (32°F), brine can only hold about 26% salt. The thermal conductivity decreases with increasing salinity and increases with increasing temperature.

Brine solution is used as a cooling medium in steel heat exchangers. This can cause corrosion, which can be reduced by reducing temperature, changing the composition of brine and removing dissolved oxygen from brine. Brine corrosion inhibitor is a borate-organic corrosion inhibitor specially designed for use in chloride brine closed re-circulating cooling systems to inhibit corrosion.

Brine is known to corrode stainless steel, as is bleach. A strong brine, such as calcium chloride, is highly aggressive toward metals and alloys. Corrosion rates in brine solutions are higher than those in distilled water, while the rate and nature of the attack vary from one material to another.


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