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Stainless Steel & the Sugar Industry

In order to transform sugar cane into white sugar, it must undergo a complex refining process. Brazil and India are two of the major players in the sugar industry. Both countries are currently engaged in upgrading essential equipment for sugar refinery to aid in eliminating waste and contamination.

An essential aspect toward eliminating waste is implementing stainless steel for all equipment used in making refined sugar and sugar cane juice products. Many business owners are currently making the move to upgrade their equipment, which is in the best interests of safety – as well as efficacy. The slight increase in cost for stainless steel equipment would quickly get recouped through the major increase in usable product available to sell.

Transforming cane sugar into refined white sugar takes the most effective, viable metal available. Stainless steel meets that criteria. In fact, the most hygienic metal for refining sugar cane is stainless steel.

 

Sugar Cane and Corrosion

 

Regular carbon steel rusts and corrodes when it encounters air and moisture. However, when you add chromium, it creates stainless steel – which is highly resistant to corrosion.

The juice of the sugar cane is quite acidic. In addition, it emits a gaseous discharge. Acid tends to consume most organic material. Gas turns toxic when mixed with many chemicals. Most materials corrode and break down against acid and gaseous discharge. Corrosion is one of the biggest problems facing the sugar industry.

Any company that uses equipment to handle sugar knows their equipment will wear out quickly when exposed to sugar cane juice. If the equipment contains moving parts, then corrosion eats through the bearings and mechanisms powering those parts. If the equipment is a free-standing holding tank with no moving parts, then sugar cane juice quickly erodes the holding tank’s material. This allows it to spread to other pieces of critical equipment when the acidic cane juice wreaks more havoc.

 

Responsible Companies Use Stainless Steel

 

Corroding equipment typically contains sharp edges. Workers and employees deserve a safe working environment. Sharp edges from corroding parts pose hazards and danger to the employees sugar manufacturers have a responsibility to protect.

A great deal of wasted productivity, as well as the amount of product lost, happens because of using carbon steel or another metal that cannot resist corrosion. Stainless steel includes a ferrous and chromium property to it that makes it highly resistant to corrosive products.

Most major manufacturers worldwide use stainless steel to make their products. Typically, stainless steel is preferred for processing food products. It is nearly impossible to maintain sanitary conditions without it. In 2007, 11 years ago, India lost an estimated $250 million dollars a year due to corrosion in metal factories. If India’s sugar barons do not convert all metal equipment used to refine sugar, they may find themselves priced out of the world market. As a result, a recent study has found that using stainless steel solutions will reduce corrosion-related losses and recalls in India by nearly 50%, a figure that is sure to entice numerous major players in the sugar refinery industry.

With the sugar industry being a crucial driving factor for development in a number of countries around the world, the transition to stainless steel will mean continued sustenance and prosperity for those regions.

How To Prevent Steel from Rusting

Steel is one of the most durable and reliable metals in the world. Due to this, it is used for a variety of purposes, such as residential/commercial construction, auto manufacturing, and infrastructural development. While steel can be very durable and last for a long time, it does require some maintenance.

One of the more serious issues that can affect steel is rust. This occurs when a steel pipe or other steel material begins to corrode. The corrosion process refers to when steel comes into contact with water or oxygen for an extended period of time. Since it is a naturally occurring process, it can be hard to completely control. Fortunately, there are measures you can take that will aid in preventing rust from damaging your steel materials.

 

Clean the Steel Regularly

While certain paints, primers, and other coatings can do a good job of preventing rust from occurring, you will still need to conduct regular maintenance. One of the most basic types of maintenance for steel is to simply clean it on a regular basis. If steel begins to look dirty, it could be the first indication that rust will begin to form. Because of this, you should use steel cleaners to make sure that they are clean of all debris when possible. There are a variety of industrial steel cleaners today that will do a good job of protecting the steel. You can also use a variety of more natural solutions, such as a mixture of water, salt, and lime. White vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda paste are also viable options.

 

Consider Galvanized Piping

Galvanized steel pipes are coated in zinc to protect against rust formation. These are primarily used to transport water and can last decades. They’re more affordable than copper piping but still more durable than plastic, making them a top choice for large construction projects and outdoor uses where large amounts of water will be carried. The only problem with galvanized piping is that their diameter gets smaller over time, as sediment reacts to the zinc barrier and can begin to accumulate, restricting water flow. If this causes a clog, hammer out the sediment and other minerals from the outside of the pipe and flush the pipes out.

 

Remove Evidence of Rust

Since rust is a naturally occurring element, it can be hard to completely prevent at all times. However, if you do begin to see signs of rust, it is important that you react right away. When you notice a small section of rust growing on a piece of steel, you should go to your local hardware store. Purchase a steel brush to scrape off evidence of the rust. You can also use WD-40 to break down the bonds between the metal and the rust, making the removal process easier. Doing this will help to prevent the rusting area to corrode any further. After removing all of the rust, you should reapply a new primer and paint to prevent any rust from coming back. There is no perfect piping, but it  is crucial to equip yourself with the right knowledge for prevention and maintenance.