Chemical processing

Stainless steel for chemical process industry

The chemical process industry faces uniquely rigorous challenges in material selection. Outokumpu solutions reflect industry needs for performance in extreme temperatures, highly corrosive environments, high-pressure handling and high purity of final product, with constant focus on reliability, safety and cost optimization.

Stainless steel for longer lifetime and minimal maintenance cost

The chemical process industry and pharmaceutical industry stretch over a wide range of applications and demanding environments. Common for all is that you need a material with a trustworthy performance throughout the expected lifetime of your equipment. Outokumpu offers a wide range of stainless steel grades with perfect corrosion resistance and mechanical properties. Outokumpu stainless steel is an ideal material choice to chemical process industry equipment. 

Outokumpu has a hundred years of experience in serving the chemical process industry with corrosion resistance information.

The Outokumpu portfolio with a wide range of product ranges stretches from the Moda range with a modest corrosion resistance, via Core and Supra all the way to the Ultra range with stainless steels and nickel-based alloys suitable for the most severe corrosive conditions. The Forta duplex range combines a high mechanical strange with a selection of fit for purpose corrosion resistance levels, and the Therma range can withstand corrosion and oxidation in temperatures from 550°C up to 1100-1200°C and this in combination of a good creep resistance.  

Depending on the chemicals involved Outokumpu Corrosion tables can guide you to a suitable material selection when knowing your temperature and chemical environment including contaminants. 

Tanks and pressure vessels 


Corrosion resistant stainless steels and alloys from Outokumpu are successfully used for all types of tanks and pressure vessel applications within the chemical process industry: 

  • tanks for storing or processing chemicals 
  • tanks with high pressures or temperatures 
  • cryogenic tanks  

Try the storage tank calculator to calculate and compare material options for storage tanks. It is an easy way to see and learn how your selection of steel grade affects material consumption and cost.  

Calculate material options with the storage tank calculator

Fertilizers: Optimized Stainless Steels for urea and nitric acid applications

Outokumpu offers wide range of materials suitable to be used in fertilizer industry. Main chemical fertilizers are nitrogen-containing compounds, to which ammonia is the key. All synthetic nitrogen compounds are derived from ammonia (NH3). Path for new sustainable world is leading from conventional production to “green” fertilizer (carbon-free fertilizer) with new production techniques. Outokumpu, the leading producer of sustainable stainless steel with the lowest carbon footprint, is offering wide material knowledge to support here.
  • Fine tuned secondary metallurgy to achieve high cleanliness steels.
  • Heavy and wide quarto plates produced with a comprehensive dimensional range.
  • A dedicated world-class research and development center providing technical support.
Grades developed for traditional urea production (reactor, scrubber, stripper, condenser): 

Urea, also known as carbamide, CO(NH2)2 is widely used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen (N) and is an important raw material for chemical industry.

Ultra 725LN (EN 1.4466/UNS 31050) 

Ultra 724L (316UG) - Modified Urea version of ASTM 316L/4435

Materials for nitric acid production:

Nitric acid (HNO3), the second most important industrial acid, is strong, oxidizing and corrosive. It is used to produce fertilizers, explosives and many organonitrogen compounds.

Core 304L/4306 „304L NAG“  (EN 1.4306/UNS 30402)

Materials for Phosphoric acid productions:

Widely used grade in these applications is 904LTractor spraying pesticides on vegetable field  with sprayer at spring

Wastewater Treatment

By use of physical, chemical and biological methods, pollutions are removed from wastewater for recovery and reuse or legal discharge of complying with national standards. Wastewater comes from living and industries.

Domestic sewage generally does not contain toxic substances, but contains organic substances such as starch, protein, sugar and mineral oil. Indexes of BOD (biological oxygen demand), COD (chemical oxygen demand), TP (total phosphorus) and TN (total nitrogen) are also higher. Stainless steels core 304L and Supra 316L are used for domestic sewage treatment, Supra 444 and Forta LDX 2101 are possible alternatives.

Pollutants in industrial wastewater mainly include suspended solids, dissolved salts, acid, alkali, heavy metal ions, halide ions and the other organic chemicals, more complicated than those in domestic sewage.

Supra 316L, Forta DX 2205 and SDX 2507 as well as Ultra 254SMO are used for the treatments of industrial wastewater, whose dissolved chlorides lead to corrosion with their concentration rising. Choice of steel grades depends on compositions of pollutants. Ultra 654SMO is applicable to more corrosive conditions.

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Benefits of using stainless steel in chemical process industry


  • Storage tanks 
  • Heat exchangers 
  • Pressure vessels and reactors 
  • Cryogenic applications 
  • Tubes, pipes and fittings


  • Fit for purpose corrosion resistance 
  • Reduced maintenance costs 
  • Fit for purpose mechanical properties  
  • High-strength Duplex Forta grades to enables weight savings  
  • Very good fabricability 
  • Long service life; low life-cycle cost  

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