Composite Resin Provides Corrosion Resistance to Mineral Processing Industry

In the mineral processing sector, hydrometallurgy uses strong acids to extracts minerals like copper, nickel and rare-earth elements from their ores. These acids can be extremely corrosive to metal surfaces like steel and aluminum. But composite materials like epoxy vinyl ester resins have proved impervious to the damage inflicted by caustic chemical environments.

Polyester and vinyl ester resins combined with fiberglass reinforcements can provide a low-cost, easy-to-handle, quick-curing and high-strength alternative to metals and other materials. In the corrosion industry, they’re especially attractive.

Mineral extraction plants benefit from resins in corrosive environments

Fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) panels with resin surfaces have been used by large mineral extraction plants like Long Harbour in Newfoundland, Canada, El Boleo in Mexico; and Mountain Pass in California. The applications have even extended worldwide, with the $4.76 billion Ambatovy mine in Madagascar employing miles of FRP piping to create a non-corrosive system for its sulfuric acid plant. 

Vinyl ester and polyester resins can be useful in both single and dual-laminate systems, the latter of which often combines a corrosion-resistant thermoplastic liner with a thermoset FRP structure. These replace weaker fiber-reinforced thermosets and more expensive metals like titanium, zirconium and high-nickel alloys. Able to withstand extremely high temperatures, resins can protect tanks and scrubbers as well as pipes, and extend the service life of hydromet equipment. 

The durability of these resins makes them ideal for electrowinning cells, acid plants, ducting and scrubbers, storage and processing vessels, and acid- and abrasion-resistant piping.

Composites One is the leading supplier in North America of high-quality composite materials

Composites One is the leading distributor of composites and advanced composite material to the corrosion industry throughout North America. The polyester and vinyl ester resins we supply are the most commonly used matrix resins to create composite parts, and can help corrosion industry sectors like mineral processing, oil and gas, wastewater treatment and more improve the lifespan and durability of equipment. To learn more about the materials we distribute, contact our technical specialists today.