Safe, precisely controlled pickling and chemical milling that eliminates hydrofluoric and nitric acids.
High temperature acid pickling is widely used in processing titanium. The acids used — hydrofluoric and nitric, HF-HNO3 — are among the most dangerous known. Handling, using and disposing of these acids requires exceptional and costly precautions and specially designed facilities.
The MetCon pickling process eliminates virtually all of these dangers, precautions and special equipment. Instead of HF-HNO3, the proprietary MetCon electrolyte is 96% water with citric acid and other minor constituents, removing worker exposure to deadly chemicals and requiring minimal PPE. The process is performed in open air. Since the process is nitric acid free, no NOx scrubber or other air treatment is necessary to comply with environmental regulations. After conditioning and pickling millions of pounds of material annually, the MetCon operating facility shows none of the life-limiting corrosion or degradation typical of hydrofluoric acid-based processing.
The process also has production benefits. Unlike pickling with HF-HNO3, by nature an uncontrolled reaction with constantly varying results, MetCon rectifier-controlled pickling is precise and repeatable. Fully automated, lights out capable process lines yield the same metal removal each time.
In addition, MetCon’s “Defect Reveal” pickle leaves distinct indications of hidden defects (laps, seams or cracks smeared over by grinding and machining) enabling automated optical detection and elimination.