Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda, is a powerful base. It ranks #3 among the top ten chemicals produced in the United States. This substance is used in the creation of myriad products, including soaps, dyes, cleaners, and explosives. It also plays a crucial role in operations such as electroplating and the processing of cotton fabrics and metals. Across many industries, it has become a go-to substance for multiple applications.
But here’s the challenge: sodium hydroxide requires careful handling. It attacks certain plastics, metals, rubber, and coatings. It will react with some metals to generate explosive gas. Manufacturers and plant operators need heavy-duty pumps to safely transfer this chemical. Not all pumps are up to the task. So, what type of pump is used for sodium hydroxide?
The bottom line: Pumps that feature a mechanical seal aren’t ideal for these heavy-duty applications. Inevitably, sodium hydroxide tends to crystalize on the pump seal faces, ultimately allowing the pump to leak. That leaves systems, products, and employees exposed to the hazards of this powerful chemical.
For safe operations, robust pumps designed for harsh chemical applications are required. To transfer sodium hydroxide, four pump features are key.
Sodium hydroxide can destroy many materials. It may react violently with others. For safe, efficient transfers, pumps that are used for handling sodium hydroxide should be constructed of polypropylene materials or ductile iron with an ETFE lining. This durable construction will prevent corrosion, adverse reactions, and pump failure.
Sealless mag-drive pumps are ideal for sodium hydroxide applications. Pump operators don’t have to worry about the hazards associated with leaks. The magnetically-driven design eliminates the need for a seal – so there are no leaks. Powerful neodymium magnets drive the impeller, for leak-free operation with no mechanical seal costs, no seal support systems, and no hazardous emissions.
When operations involve sodium hydroxide, safety is a top concern. Pumps must offer durability and reliability that will keep operations running smoothly, without incident. Sealless mag-drive pumps provide a safe solution. These pumps remove the risk of leaks, which eliminates a host of concerns for hazardous spills, and human exposure.
Some sealless mag-drive pumps also offer run-dry capability. This prevents pump failure and further damage to operations in situations involving human error or system malfunction. This feature is particularly crucial in settings where pumps must operate without direct supervision for long periods.
Quality pumps are made by quality manufacturers. When considering what type of pump is used for sodium hydroxide, it is critical to consider whose name is on the pump. For optimal performance, look for an established manufacturer that is known for durable products and excellent service. The manufacturer should stand behind its products with strong warranties that deliver customer peace of mind and complete satisfaction.
Finish Thompson is a world leader in sealless mag-drive pump manufacturing, offering a complete line of pumps for sodium hydroxide applications. Discover top solutions for your operations with these reliable mag-drive pumps—backed by industry-leading warranties.
About Finish Thompson
Finish Thompson Inc. designs and manufactures pumps for the safe transfer of a wide variety of corrosive liquids. Products include centrifugal sealless magnetic drive pumps with run-dry capability, mechanically sealed pumps, drum and barrel pumps, vertical mag-drive pumps, multi-stage pumps, and the FTI Air line of air operated double diaphragm (AODD) pumps. For durable solutions for your applications, contact Finish Thompson Inc.