For strong acids and severe corrosion

Commercially pure zirconium socket weld flanges, also known as zirconium 702, are most well-known for their superior corrosion resistance in some of the harshest environments that include:

•  Hydrochloric Acid •  Sulfuric Acid •  Formic Acid •  Nitric Acid  •  Acetic Acid  

It is also a metal that offers industry unique properties. It does not absorb neutrons, making it ideal for use in nuclear power and at low temperatures it is superconductive, making it ideal for super magnets.

Hydrochloric Acid Resistance
What makes Zirconium socket weld flanges particularly useful to industry is their resistance to hydrochloric acid where they exhibit a corrosion rate of less than 5mpy at all concentrations and temperatures in excess of the boiling point. Even in 37% HCI, Zirconium socket weld flanges do not begin to show substantial corrosion until 130°C (266°F). This performance is unmatched by any other engineering metal or alloy with the exception of tantalum. To give you a point of reference, Hastelloy C276 will experience 288 mpy (mils per year) of corrosion in just 10% HCl at the boiling point while Zirconium flanges will have a nil corrosion rate even when aerated. As a result, Zirconium socket weld flanges are most beneficial when used is in hydrochloric acid processes with temperatures above the boiling point and in the absence of oxidizing impurities.

General Acid Resistance
In addition to its impressive performance in hydrochloric acid, in sulfuric acid, Zirconium socket weld flanges are resistant to temperatures well above boiling and at acid concentrations up to 70%. Only one other metal, tantalum, is equal to zirconium in nitric acid, where zirconium can be used in all concentrations up to 90% and temperatures up to 200°C. Zirconium is also resistant to most organic media and is considered one of the most corrosion resistant materiala in virtually all acetic acid solutions.

 Zirconium comparison chart

When Zirconium Does Not Perform
Zirconium is known for its tough resistance to acid corrosion, but there are instances that it is not recommended to use Zirconium. Though aeration does not affect the resistance of Zirconium socket weld flanges, even small amounts of oxidizing media such as ferric or cupric chlorides will greatly decrease its corrosion resistance. This often occurs from upstream equipment that carry corrosion contaminants into the zirconium equipment, making process control of upstream equipment critical in maintaining the corrosion resistance of Zirconium. In addition, acid in the presence of oxidizing halide contaminants and can accelerate the rate of attack on Zirconium flanges even at low concentrations. Use of Zirconium socket weld flanges in the presence of fluoride ions is also not recommended, even at low concentrations.

Applications
•  Nuclear industry utilize Zirconium socket weld flanges for its inability to absorb neutrons
•  Zirconium has been used for decades in over 20 years in dye manufacturing for its incredible corrosion resistance and inertness.
•  Chemical processing plants often utilized Zirconium in the production of polymers that utilize strong acids .
•  Commonly used with nitric acid for the production ammonium nitrate for fertilizers.

Resources: Zirconium Torque SpecsFlange DimensionsFlange Bolting Chart

Flange Types Available: Blind FlangesLap Joint FlangesSlip On FlangesSocket Weld FlangesThreaded FlangesWeld Neck Flanges

 


Zirconium Grades, Chemistry and Specifications

Zirconium 702

99.2% commercially pure zirconium with the highest corrosion resistance.

Zirconium 702 Specifcations: UNS R60702, ASTM B493 and B550, ASME SB493 and SB550 Rod (Bar), ASTM SB551, ASME SB551  Plate, Sheet and Strip 

Zirconium 702 Chemistry

Zirconium 705 

95.5% zirconium with the addition of 2-3% niobium. This addition increases the impact strength of the alloy.

Zirconium 705 Specifications: UNS R06705, ASTM B493 and B550, ASME SB493 and SB550 Rod (Bar)

Zirconium 705 Chemistry

 


Mechanical Properties

 Zirconium 702 Tensile Curve Zirconium 705 Tensile Curve   

 

Zirconium Tensile Data


Zirconium Iso-Corrosion Curves

Specialty Metal H2SO4 Iso-Corrosion Curve

Specialty Metal HCl Iso-Corrosion Curve  


 

Socket Weld Flange Features & Benefits

Similar to a slip on flange, an zirconium socket weld flange has an added shoulder inside the bore hole. The socket weld flange is designed so that a pipe can be inserted into the socket of the flange until it hits the shoulder of the socket. The pipe is then backed away from the shoulder approximately 1/16 inches before being welded to the flange hub. This internal weld provides this type of flange added strength. In addition, by grinding the internal weld smooth, turbulence and flow restriction are minimized. Zirconium socket weld flanges are most commonly used on small diameter applications (1/2" through 4") and high pressure piping systems.

Socket Weld Flange Benefitssocket weld flange words

  • Best for small size, high pressure applications
  • Static strength equal to a slip on flange yet boasts a fatigue strength 1.5 times that of the slip on design
  • Employs both a backside hub weld and an internal shoulder weld for increased strength
  • Socket weld flanges delivers a lower risk of leakage than threaded flanges
  • Socket weld pipes do not have to be beveled for weld preparation
  • Butt-welded joints are easily fitted and no special machining

Socket Weld Flange Disadvantages

  • The expansion gap and internal crevices left in socket welded systems can promote crevice corrosion.
  • Socket weld flanges have two welds which makes them stronger yet more labor intensive to install. Due to the increased welding, it has become the practice to weld only at the hub of the flange, which is not recommended.

Installation Tips
The socket weld pipe fittings should allow for expansion gap of 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) between pipe and the shoulder of the socket.

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