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Caustic Soda

Last updated: October 15, 2017

What Does Caustic Soda Mean?

Caustic soda is a vital element in various industrial applications. In terms of household applications, it is a key ingredient in drain and oven cleaners. This chemical is highly reactive and corrosive. It can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract.

A large dose of caustic soda in an aquatic system can alter its pH and cause toxic reactions to aquatic elements. In metals, caustic solutions usually lead to corrosion.

Caustic soda is also known as sodium hydroxide and has the chemical formula NaOH.


Corrosionpedia Explains Caustic Soda

In all forms, caustic soda is highly corrosive and can cause serious harm. For instance, a short period of contact to the eyes could lead to total blindness. Skin irritations and burns may also result due to exposure of skin to caustic soda.

In terms of its effects in industrial metals, caustic solutions can result in corrosion at all concentration levels. With increasing concentration and temperature, it can become even more corrosive. For instance, carbon steel has a beneficial safe limit of around 150°F (65°C) in order to mitigate the damaging effects of caustic stress corrosion cracking (CSCC).

Although stainless steels have higher corrosion resistance than carbon steel, they are also prone to corrosion brought on by caustic solutions under approximate temperatures of 250°F (121°C).

As a key rule, a metal's resistance to damage by caustic soda enhances along with elevating nickel content. However, susceptibility to damage depends on numerous variables, including caustic concentration, stress and temperature levels as well as alloy content.


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