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Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals

Their mechanical strength, availability, and economics make them a popular construction material.

Ferrous Metals

Their mechanical strength, availability, and economics make them a popular construction material.

Cast Iron

A mixture of iron and carbon containing more than 2% carbon. Due to its low cost and ease of access, it is in high demand. This type of plastic is resistant to concentrated sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and dilute alkalies. The material is thermally inefficient. Some disadvantages include hardness and brittleness. The gray cast iron is enriched with silicon, manganese, and selenium. This metal can be shaped into any shape. Gray cast iron protects materials from corrosion but does not protect them from diluted acids. This type of iron is also corrosion resistant and available in white cast iron with a carbon content of 2.5 percent. In addition to its superior toughness, corrosion resistance, and heat resistance, nickel-resistant cast iron is also easy to weld. Several cast iron alloys are available on the market, including Duriron and Durichlor.


In jacketed steam pans, it is used.
Plastics are lined with it.

Carbon Steel

There is only a small percentage of carbon in this iron alloy. The material is cheap and easy to manufacture. Among industrial metals, it is the most versatile. It can be welded easily and is extremely ductile. Caustic soda also reacts with carbon steel, which has limited corrosion resistance. Low alloy steel is stronger than carbon steel. Carbon makes up 0.4%, Manganese 0.7%, Nickel 1.85%, Chromium 0.8%, and Molybdenum 0.25% of it. Nickel, chromium and silicone can be alloyed with carbon steel to alter its properties. Carbon steel-Nickel alloy is corrosion-resistant and tough. Chrome-carbon alloys increase hardness and corrosion resistance. Preparing a carbon steel-molybdenum alloy can enhance the strength of carbon steel at elevated temperatures.


  • Pipes and plates are made from it.
  • A plant vessel is supported by it.
  • Water, sulfuric acid, and organic solvents are stored in large storage tanks made from it.

Stainless Steel

Iron alloys are used to make it. The composition consists of 12 to 30 percent chrome, 0 to 2% nickel, and a low percentage of carbon, copper, molybdenum, niobium, and selenium. In industries, it is valued for its heat resistance, corrosion resistance, easy fabrication, and high tensile strength. Steels are available in a variety of types.

Martensitic (type 410) - The alloy has a chromium content of up to 20%, a carbon content of 0.2 to 4%, and a nickel content of 2%. It is mildly corrosion resistant and doesn't readily react with organic acids. There is less ductility. It can be used for the preparation of sinks, benches, storage tanks, and mixing elements.

Alpha-ferritic (type 430) - Chromium content ranges from 15 to 30%, and carbon content is 0.1%. It is highly corrosion-resistant. It can withstand high temperatures and oxidation. It can be easily machined. It is unsuitable for use with hydrochloric acid or reducing agents. Condensers, pump shafts, baffles, baffle linings, beat exchangers, tubing, condensers, beat exchangers, and furnace parts are made from it.

Austenitic - The content of chromium is 13 to 20%, the carbon content is 0.1% to 0.2%, and the nickel content is -22%. High corrosion resistance, easy welding, easy cleaning and sterilization make this material ideal. It is easily weldable. A fomenter, evaporator, a storage vessel, and an extraction vessel use it.

Other types: Type 316, 316L and 317 are corrosion-resistant, particularly when containing 2.5 to 3.5% molybdenum.

Non-ferrous Metals


There are many alloys available for it. Aluminum is inexpensive and lightweight. Aluminum is mechanically strong. Cleaning and maintenance are straightforward. Copper conducts heat 60% more efficiently than aluminum. This material has a tensile strength of 10000 lbs/square inch. Corrosion does not affect its properties. Nitric and acetic acids can also be concentrated using this device. Chemical equipment can be used in many different ways. Above 150 0C, however, aluminum loses much of its mechanical strength. Super grade aluminum is used for food and pharmaceutical applications. Meat is stored in containers made of the material. For applications involving heat transfer, it is used. It is also possible to obtain corrosion-resistant aluminum alloys with improved mechanical properties. Aluminized metal alloys are more resistant to corrosion. Sulfur-containing environments are best fitted for hot dipped aluminized steel. The non-toxic nature of aluminum makes it an ideal material for use in biosynthetic processes.


The container (tank), rail tanker, and barrel are all made from this material.


As it is toxic in large amounts, Lead is used in less percentages in the pharmaceutical industry. It is inexpensive. Non-food products generally use lead. Lead corrosion and fatigue is made resistant by adding silver and copper. Unfortunately, lead's low melting point impedes its structural quality. It is for this reason that antimony is added. Sulfuric acid solutions are carried in lead pipes. Lead suffers from a high expansion coefficient, which creates permanent distortions.


Due to its high temperature resistance properties, copper and its alloys also find use in chemical processing. The alloys of nickel and its superior corrosion resistance allow alkalis, high purity caustic soda, and potash to be stored and shipped with ease. Besides chlorinated solvents and phenols, it is also used to store other chemical products. Due to its strength, corrosion resistance, and resistance to hot chloride solutions and nitric acid, titanium is also a popular construction material. Titanium is, however, very costly.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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