Desalination refers to the process of removing excess salt and other minerals from water. More generally, desalination may also refer to the removal of salts and minerals, as in soil desalination.
Water is desalinated in order to be converted to fresh water suitable for human consumption or irrigation. Sometimes the process produces table salt as a by-product. Most of the modern interest in desalination is focused on developing cost-effective ways of providing fresh water for human use in regions where the availability of fresh water is limited.
The desalination process has been used for many decades although the first industrial-sized plants weren’t built until the 1960s. The demand for desalinated water has been so great that there are now approximately 20,000 facilities across the globe focusing on the processing of saltwater.
According to the International Desalination Association, more than 300 million people world-wide now consume water that has been processed by the desalination industry. According to Adroit Market Research, the Desalination Industry was valued at USD $15.43 billion in 2017.
Specialist materials required in the Desalination Industry
Super Duplex and Duplex Stainless Steel pipe are widely used in the desalination industry. These highly specialised materials are able to withstand corrosion, have high strength and have proven themselves to be able to perform consistently over long periods of time in particularly harsh environments.
It is no wonder then that Super Duplex and Duplex pipes, fittings and flanges are often used within the desalination industry, where corrosive seawater is being processed on such large scales. They can be found as structural and mechanical components, in technical equipment and as part of complex operational systems.
But aside from Super Duplex and Duplex, 6% Moly alloys also have exemplary resistance to a number of chemicals and are particularly appropriate for environments such as brackish water, and seawater that present high chloride conditions.
6% Moly Alloys are often found to have high levels of chromium and nitrogen which makes it even be able to withstand corrosion and stress cracking. They are part of the austenitic steel group which is one of the most widely used grade of stainless steel. Molybdenum has many helpful properties, notably high strength and mechanical stability. Even better than this is that it manages to keep those properties even when the temperature gets hot.
These properties mean that 6% Moly products, such a pipes, fittings and flanges, are in very high demand in industrialised, engineering and manufacturing markets, such as in desalination plants and equipment.
The majority of modern desalination plants are constructed using Duplex Stainless Steel. The grades of choice are typically Grades 2205 and 2304. Both of these steels contain molybdenum and have extremely high corrosion resistance and mechanical strength. The incredible strength of these particular Duplex Stainless Steels means that the thickness and weight of some equipment – such as evaporator vessels – can be reduced, subsequently reducing costs for the manufacturer and operator.
Special Piping Materials and the Desalination Industry
Special Piping Materials has certainly experienced an increase of orders from the desalination industry. We regularly receive large orders for thinner wall pipes, fittings and flanges in high-performing 6% Moly, Super Duplex and Duplex for use in desalination plants. These materials are able to cope with the corrosive environment and therefore stand the test of time for our customers.