The treatment of wastewater is a complex process that requires state-of-the-art infrastructures, and new technological advances have allowed the industry to optimize their cleaning process. Even today, metals are one of the main materials used in the manufacturing of infrastructures, walkways, ladders and equipment that allow this industry to carry out their operations. Yet, is metal truly the most suitable material for this type of environment? The answer is no. Although metals have excellent mechanical properties, they are not meant for humid and corrosive environments. In this article, we will examine durable and effective solutions to optimize the treatment of wastewater.
The short service life of steel structures
Recognized for its strength, solidity and excellent mechanical properties, steel is a material often used in structural design. However, it is important to consider the environment to which these installations may be exposed. Aside from high humidity levels and a direct contact with water, structures installed in wastewater treatment plants also come into contact with corrosive chemicals. Rust is therefore a common problem that leads to increased maintenance and servicing needs.
Since wastewater treatment plants are harsh environments, it is important to choose materials well suited to their reality. To help you choose the right material, please read the following article: 4 Questions to Help You Choose the Right Structural Materials.
For example, fibreglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) is a composite material that is more durable than steel. It requires little maintenance and will never be affected by corrosion thanks to its impressive chemical resistance.
Would you like to learn more about the properties of FRP and its possible applications? Take a look at our case study: FRP for Water Treatment Plants.
The advantages of plastic for safer storage
The treatment of wastewater is a long process that requires a great deal of logistics. Several chemical products, such as sodium silicate, must be used to eliminate bacteria and contaminants. These products are often stored in large quantities inside the facility to increase efficiency and avoid useless transportation costs. Since steel is quickly affected by corrosive products, it is wiser to use tanks made of HDPE or polypropylene, two plastics known for their impressive resistance to chemicals. Moreover, these materials also have the advantage of being available in standard or custom sizes.
To learn more about the chemical resistance of plastic, click here!
Why choose performance plastics
Besides storage units, numerous mechanical parts and components, such as gears, gear wheels and bushings, are required to treat wastewater. Unsurprisingly, parts that make up these systems must be highly resistant to wear and corrosion.
Due to repetitive contact with other metal parts, system components tend to wear out more quickly. Metals also have the disadvantage of being extremely vulnerable to corrosion. In other words, they rust rapidly and require frequent maintenance and servicing. As for high-performance plastics, they are designed to withstand the harsh conditions found in wastewater treatment plants: high humidity levels, temperature variations, presence of highly corrosive chemical products and more. Choosing materials that are adapted to this type of setting
- Reduces maintenance needs
- Reduces shutdowns
- Reduces costs
- Optimizes the wastewater treatment process
- Reduces the risk of accidents