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A comparison of the basic properties of tantalum with other high-performance metals and alloys used in the chemical process industry (CPI) is given. It is pointed out that the electrochemically passivating oxide film that spontaneously forms on tantalum is responsible for its extraordinary performance. It is the premier example of this type of corrosion resistance and accounts for tantalum having the most effective resistance over the broadest range of acidic media conditions. The fabrication characteristics of tantalum and the variety of equipment available are described. Tantalum's performance characteristics and limitations in several CPI environments are discussed in relation to other commonly used metals.
tantalum, chemical process industry, corrosion resistance
NRC Inc., Newton, Mass.