The Bureau of Mines, in pursuing its goal of extending the life span of strategic materials, conducted field corrosion studies at the East Mesa Known Geothermal Resources Area (KGRA) in the Imperial Valley, California, to determine the optimum materials of construction for use in geothermal mineral energy resource recovery plants. These studies included characterization of geothermal environments and in situ corrosion testing. The corrosion resistance of 10 alloys exposed to 5 brine and steam process environments was evaluated using the low-salinity, high-temperature brine from geothermal well Mesa 6-1. Of these alloys, hastelloy c-276, hastelloy s, inconel 625, titanium-2nickel, and 316 l stainless steel had excellent resistance to corrosion in all of the process environments; e-brite 26-1 and 430 stainless steel had fair resistance. Although general corrosion rates for 4130 steel and 1020 carbon steel were substantially higher than those of the other iron-base alloys, these two alloys could prove useful in low- salinity process environments because of their low cost. Aluminum alloy 5005 was the least corrosion resistant alloy and pitted severely. Scales formed on all of the alloys in every process environment. Calcite, aragonite, and an amorphous silicate were the major components of the scales.
Environmental management; Environmental control; Geothermal resources; Minerals; Construction materials; Alloys; Corrosion inhibitors; Environmental engineering; Environmental factors; Stainless steel; Iron compounds; Aluminum compounds; Amorphous silica; Mining; Titanium; Nickel; Cobalt alloys; Cobalt compounds; Chromium compounds