Protection of the Environment - Water

A plentiful supply of clean potable water is surely an essential component of a healthy living environment. However increasing living standards and population densities continue to put pressure on available water supplies, such that investment in new sources and water treatment facilities is expanding rapidly and will continue to do so for some time to come. Whether it is to expand the purification of water from existing sources, or to bring on–stream completely new types of supply such as desalination, we find an increasing need for tubes, valves, filters and other components made from stainless steel. Its corrosion resistance is an obvious benefit for such components but so, too, are its ease of fabrication and its cleanability. A further important consideration is the inert nature of stainless steel from a biological standpoint. Increasingly stringent water purity standards require materials that do not leach into the water significant traces of hazardous constituents. In this section, papers and other publications describe the many ways that stainless steels help to prevent contamination of our lakes and rivers as well as to treat and distribute the water from our taps that so often we take for granted.

Stainless Steel for a Cleaner World

Stainless steel plays a key role in environmental control technology.

Not only is it a sustainable, fully recyclable material, it also helps us reconcile the requirements of modern societies with the need to protect the Earth and use its resources responsibly. Here are just a few examples of how stainless steel can improve the environment.

See as a Flash animation or download as a pdf 

Published: 27/10/2017
Last modified: 27/10/2017

Press fit fitting systems and stainless steel

This publication outlines:

  • the main technical properties of stainless steel "press-fit" connections
  • its competitive position in the context of alternative solutions
  • typical areas of application
  • aspects of design and installation that are specific to stainless steel.

The publication is available in English, Dutch, German and Italian [clicking on the language will open a pdf]

Published: 5/1/2016
Last modified: 5/1/2016

Stainless Steel in Drinking Water Supply

Its inert and corrosion-resistant nature makes stainless steel an ideal material for contact with drinking water in all stages from extraction to domestic plumbing. Stainless steel is the only metallic material that is suitable for any usual drinking water composition.
This brochure from ISSF explains why stainless steel is an ideal material for contact with drinking water and highlights applications in water intake, water preparation, water storage and distribution.

Download the brochure here

Published: 4/11/2014
Last modified: 4/11/2014

Stainless steel and water

In cooperation with ISSF, students from the Paris Sorbonne University investigated the current condition of the water system in Paris and prospects for refurbishing the damaged system.

You can download the report here.

Published: 22/6/2012
Last modified: 22/6/2012

Drinking Water Systems in Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pipes for drinking water systems facilitate the job of keeping water clean and quality standards high.

Brochure available in English and German [clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steels and Drinking Water Around the World

Paper by Dr. P. Cutler, Nickel Development Institute, Birmingham (UK) presented at the workshop “Stainless Steel in Drinking Water Applications”, Brussels, 19th November 2003, organised by Euro Inox with support from CEOCOR (Brussels) and GfKorr (Frankfurt/M.). Discusses the reasons why stainless steels are used in drinking water applications and covers grade selection, life-cycle cost benefits and design and fabrication aspects.

Source: Euro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steel for Reprocessing and Effluent Treatment Plant

Paper originally delivered at the BSSA Conference 'Stainless Solutions for a Sustainable Future' held in Rotherham on 3rd April 2003. Stainless steels are used extensively throughout the Changi water plant that will provide a long-term sustainable future for the citizens of Singapore throughout this century. The role of stainless steels in Nuclear Reprocessing Plant, Desalination Plant and other water treatment projects is also touched upon briefly.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless steel - water for the growing world

Water is mankind's most precious resource. Stainless steel is an ideal material to handle this element of life. Let us take you on a guided tour of the applications of stainless steel in a water context.

Available as a flash animation or pdf.

Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steels in Supply and Waste Water Systems (OGCP ref OG 2.2)

In pure water at normal (ambient) temperatures, stainless steels can be considered "inert". Except for chemically purified waters there are various levels of anions, including chlorides, which can be aggressive to stainless steels under certain circumstances. General corrosion over large areas of the surface is not usually encountered on stainless steels, due to formation and maintenance of an inert "passive" surface layer, but localised corrosion can occur due to the breakdown of the passive layer by chlorides at discrete sites.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steels and the Water Industry: from Knowledge to Applications

There is increasing pressure to provide more clean drinking water to more people. At the same time, impact on the environment must be minimized. Stainless steels can and do play an important part in providing cost-effective solutions to these requirements. However, this can only happen when the relevant properties and costs are understood by those who have to make the choice of material for a particular application.

Source: Euro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Selection of stainless steels in water supply and waste water treatment

Type 304 and 316 stainless steels are normally successfully used in the range of water compositions encountered during water and waste water treatment. They do not experience general thinning and therefore do not require a corrosion allowance. This allows thin and light weight sections to be made that are readily transportable, and have a low maintenance requirement throughout a long service life.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Rouging of stainless steel in high purity water systems

Rouging is sometimes found in high purity hot water systems, usually appearing as a thin red or black powdery or 'slimy' deposit.

The mechanism that causes rouging does not appear to be fully understood, but is connected to destabilization of the passive layer. Measures that improve corrosion resistance can help prevent rouging.

Passivation and smoothing of surface finishes by electropolishing have been used to reduce the risk of rouge formation.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Selection of stainless steels for water tank applications

Stainless steel grades, such as the 304 or 316 types are generally suitable for storing and handling cold or unheated drinking (town's) waters. Localised corrosion by crevice or pitting mechanisms is not usually a hazard in properly designed, fabricated and finished tanks handling clean waters of drinking quality. Hot water tanks however may be at risk from stress corrosion cracking (SCC)

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Conditions of Approval of Stainless Steel For Products in Contact with Drinking Water in Public Supply

This paper was presented at the seminar “Materials in Contact with Drinking Water”, organized for the Water Treatment & Environmental Management Industry in Leeds in June 2002. A review of the approval of stainless steels to the DWI Regulation 25 and the eventual publication of the DWI Operational Guidelines and Code of Practice for Stainless Steel Products in Drinking Water Supply is discussed. The importance of material selection, design, fabrication and maintenance and inspection for the successful application of stainless steels in drinking water applications is outlined, before a more in depth discussion of the approval process for stainless steel is covered.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

BSSA Advice Note 3 for Drinking Water January 2002

A summary of the regulations affecting stainless steels used in the treatment and supply of drinking water is shown. The Water Industry Acts of 1989 and 1991, Regulation 25 is discussed. The approval of stainless steels for use under regulation 25 involves leachate determinations based on BS7766 to the DWI Operational Guidelines and Code of Practice for Stainless Steel Products in Drinking Water Supply. The approval process for stainless steel products is briefly summarized.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steels and International Drinking Water Applications

The excellent corrosion resistance of stainless steels can provide society and industry with better water quality and reduced environmental impact at lower cost. A European seminar was organised in Brussels in November 2003 by Euro Inox and CeoCor to highlight the opportunities for more use of stainless steels in the treatment, storage and distribution of drinking water. The article is based on a paper given at the seminar, augmented by highlights of other presentations.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Operational Guidelines and Code of Practice for Stainless Steel Products in Drinking Water Supply

This paper contains the full text of the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) application 56.4.477, published by the Steel Construction Institute in 2002. There are two distinct parts, the Code of Practice and the Operational Guidelines. A comprehensive range of issues is covered, including material selection and approval, design, welding, fabrication, post fabrication cleaning, installation, maintenance and inspection (construction, commissioning and operation).

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

The Water Industry's Balancing Act: Maximising Process Availability at Minimum Cost

Paper delivered by Chris Quinn at BSSA Conference 2000.

Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

High alloy stainless steels in sea-water cooled condensers

Many changes have occurred in the criteria on how to choose tubes for heat exchangers for condensers in steam power installations. Currently the tendency is to use fewer materials and to reduce the wall thickness of the tubes; in the mean time general improvements are done to the materials. This implies a departure from traditional copper alloys.

[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]

Source: Centro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Potable water supply – corrosion and aspects regarding materials

Many changes have occurred in the criteria on how to choose tubes for heat exchangers for condensers in steam power installations. Currently the tendency is to use fewer materials and to reduce the wall thickness of the tubes; in the mean time general improvements are done to the materials. This implies a departure from traditional copper alloys.

[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]

Source: Centro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless steel in the refurbishment of water pipes

The remediation of pipelines for potable water that are in a bad state is an issue that has absolute priority for public governments. More reliable and durable solutions are needed. In this article the maintenance of two interventions, performed using a method that allows the introduction of stainless steel pipe inside of the existing pipelines, are described.

[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]

Source: Centro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless steels and potable water

The purpose of this paper is to present the role of stainless steel as a material to serve for potable water. As confirmed by recent applications, stainless steel is gaining its own identity in an area which, however, has other materials as protagonists.

[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]

Source: Centro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

The role of stainless steel in the potable water plants

The purpose of this paper is to define the types of stainless steel most suitable to use; assess more practical and reliable joining systems, and finally to present some of the most significant drinking water applications with stainless steels to date.

[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]

Source: Centro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Potable, waste waters and gas: the role of stainless steels

The purpose of this paper is to frame the role of stainless steel as a material at the service of the integrated water cycle. It presents specific characteristics such as chemical properties and physical and mechanical resistance to corrosion.

[this article is in Italian for more information please contact Centro Inox]

Source: Centro Inox

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steel for Rainwater Goods and Accessories

The following are being discussed:

  • Functional aspects
  • Architectural features
  • Environmental qualities
  • Choice of grade and surface
  • Applications (roof geometries, bitumen-felt roofs, historic monuments)
  • Guidelines (tools, forming, soft-soldering, adhesive bonding, fixings)
  • Accessories

Source: Euro Inox

[Besides English, this publication is also available in Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish. Clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless steel in water

The contents of this article is: Introduction; groups of stainless steels: ferritic stainless steels, austenitic stainless steels, austenitic-ferritic stainless steels, martensitic stainless steels, overarching statements about the mechanical properties, corrosion resistance to water and their influencing factors: general, material-related factors, waterside factors, site factors, occupational effect sizes; Practical Experiences: collection, treatment and distribution of drinking water, sewage, other applications in the water, life / cost, frequently asked questions; Literature.

[article in German, please contact ISER for more information]

Source: Informationsstelle Edelstahl Rostfrei

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless steel in filtration

Filtration is part of our daily life … and stainless steel is the material of choice for filtration. In this animation you can find out how, why and where!

See the animation

Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Thames Gateway Water Treatment

The first water desalination plant in the UK, the Thames Gateway Water Treatment Works in East London, opens in 2010. It will treat water from the brackish waters of the River Thames, producing up to 140 million litres of clean, fresh, drinking water each day during times of drought or extended periods of low rainfall, or to maintain supplies in the event of an incident at other water treatment facilities. Within the plant, saline river water passes through lamella clarifiers to remove solid particles. The clarifiers are large, open tanks containing a coarse filter media that is supported by a grillage of 78 stainless steel I-beams.

Source: Team Stainless

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steel in Waste Water Treatment

In sewage treatment stainless steel has a track record of superior technical and economic performance. Its further development potential in this application is huge: urbanisation is accelerating throughout the world. The efficient handling and treatment of waste water is a key element of sustainable urban development. Euro Inox has issued a new brochure, which shares current experience with designers and operators of waste water treatment facilities. The 28-page publication “Performance of Stainless Steels in Waste Water Installations” examines the specific requirements on stainless steel in this environment and makes conclusions for grade selection, design, fabrication and installation. Besides the impact of the waste water, also atmospheric influences and the corrosion resistance in soil are addressed. Finally, the economic benefits are described in terms of life cycle cost.

This brochure is available in English, German and Polish [clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stainless Steel in Sewage Treatment Plants

Water – the blue gold of the blue planet, used in so many ways: for agriculture, for the processing and preparation of food and beverages, for heating and cooling, for energy generation, and for the production of a wide spectrum of industrial and consumer goods. About 70% of the world’s surface is covered with water, but less than 3% of it is fresh water, making it a very precious commodity. The use of water produces wastewater. Like any other waste products, wastewater is a valuable, sustainable resource and should be treated appropriately.

This brochure from ISSF will give you more detailed information on where stainless steel is used in sewage treatment plants and why. Operators of WWTPs and the manufacturers of the equipment used in them appreciate stainless steel for a number of reasons. They are very much aware of its technical and economical advantages. Some of their testimonies have also been included in this brochure.

Download the brochure here

Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Desalination in stainless steel

Successful desalination requires a material that can resist the aggressive corrosion caused by seawater and brine. Utilising stainless steel to create fresh water further increases the sustainability profile of the desalination industry. The durability and minimal maintenance requirements of stainless make it a good choice economically. The high-level of recycled content and 100% recyclability at the end of its life are the cornerstones of stainless steel’s environmental profile. High performance stainless steels, including duplex grades, are the perfect choice for desalination.

This brochure from ISSF will give you more detailed information on desalination in stainless steel complemented with some case studies.

Download the brochure here

Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012

Stop Leaks Ask for Stainless Steel Help

Information about cost-effective, durable, potable water distribution systems using stainless steel.

Source: S.P.L.A.S.H.

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Published: 10/5/2012
Last modified: 10/5/2012