ABSTRACT This research work investigated the corrosion resistance of nickel- plated medium carbon steel
and 18/8 stainless steel in cassava fluid (i.e. containing hydrogen cyanide). It simulated the
effect of continuous use of the materials in a cyanide environment where corrosion products are
left in place. Low carbon steel sample was nickel electroplated at 4V for 35 minutes. The plated
sample, the unplated and the 18/8 stainless steel were then subjected to a cassava fluid
environment for thirty days. The electrode potentials, in mV (SCE), were measured every day.
Weight loss was determined at intervals of 5 days for duration of the exposure period. The result
showed little corrosion attack on the nickel-plated steel on the fifth and tenth days which quickly
dropped to zero by the 15th day and remained at the passive state till the 20th day when corrosion picked up again increasing steadily, linearly until the end of the test day. Corrosion of the 18/8 stainless steel was very low as well decreasing till the last day of the test. The pH of the cassava solution which initially was acidic because of the cyanide content in the cassava was observed to progress to neutrality within five days and to alkalinity at the end of the thirty days test (because of corrosion product contamination of the cyanide). Un-plated steel was found to be unsuitable for the fabrication of cassava processing machinery because of the very high corrosion rate. 18/8 stainless steel was found suitable for use in this environment. The renewed corrosion activity on nickel plated steel after the 20th day (pH=12) of continuous use in cyanide environment makes it unsuitable for use.
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