MRO Q&A: Dealing With Salt Brine Corrosion

Welcome to MRO Q&A, a Food Processing series addressing maintenance, repair and operational issues in food plants. We have assembled a panel of plant operations experts to answer any question you have on plant-floor issues. To pose a question, check out our Plant Maintenance Resoure Center

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Q. We use a lot of salt brine in our plant operation. How can we limit the associated corrosion within our plant environment?

A. When you add salt to water you naturally increase the current-carrying ability of the brine solution. This concentrated brine solution can cause corrosion. To reduce the effects of corrosion, most brine-making operations are located outside the plant.

This “open space” location can be effective even in colder climates by installing supplier-provided insulation and heating packages to your brine-making system. If your brine-making operation must be located inside the plant you will need to provide proper venting of your system to reduce corrosion within the production area.

To further reduce your corrosion issues, you must provide the appropriate brine concentration levels to your equipment providers so they can provide the proper type of materials and equipment and then develop appropriate washdown procedures to minimize your corrosion risk.

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