Stainless Steel Reactor vs Glass-Lined Steel Reactor: What is the difference?

Stainless Steel Reactor vs Glass-Lined Steel Reactor: What is the difference?

In the realm of modern industrialization, reactors play a crucial role in a wide range of applications. With the increasing diversity in reactor types, it becomes essential to understand the differences between them. Among the commonly used reactors are stainless steel reactors and glass-lined steel reactors. In this article, we will delve into the disparities between these two reactor types, providing you with valuable insights to make an informed decision.

chemical stainless steel reactor vs glass-lined steel reactor
glass lined reactor

1. Materials: Building Blocks of Reactors

The materials employed in the construction of reactors form the foundation of their capabilities. Glass-lined reactors are crafted by subjecting the metal surface to a high-temperature process, resulting in a tightly bonded glaze coating. On the other hand, stainless steel reactors are constructed entirely from stainless steel.

2. Acid Resistance

Glass-lined reactors exhibit superior acid resistance due to the glaze layer on their inner surfaces. Stainless steel reactors, although not as resistant to acids, offer better heat transfer capabilities compared to glass-lined reactors.

3. Cost Considerations: Balancing Budgets and Performance

The cost factor is an important consideration when choosing between a stainless steel reactor and a glass-lined reactor. In terms of price, glass-lined reactors tend to be relatively cheaper. When comparing reactors of the same volume, stainless steel reactors are generally more expensive than glass-lined reactors. However, it is worth noting that stainless steel reactors have the advantage of being lighter in weight compared to their glass-lined counterparts.

4. Pressure Resistance: Handling the Force

When it comes to pressure resistance, the stainless steel reactor takes the lead. Glass-lined reactors have limitations in terms of the working pressure they can withstand. In contrast, stainless steel reactors are capable of withstanding high pressures. Glass-lined reactors are suitable for handling acidic substances with low working pressures, while stainless steel reactors can accommodate a wider range of working pressures.

5. Temperature Tolerance: Heat Management

Temperature plays a crucial role in reactor operations. Stainless steel reactors demonstrate superior heat transfer capabilities. When heated using a jacket, the material temperature in a stainless steel reactor can reach up to 280 degrees Celsius. With circulating heating or zero-distance electric heating, the interior of the reactor can reach temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the temperature of the material in a glass-lined reactor needs to be controlled below 200 degrees Celsius to prevent damage to the enamel layer due to excessive heat.

6. Pressure: Design and Functionality

The design and functionality of reactors differ based on their pressure usage. Large-volume stainless steel reactors typically adopt a closed structure, with the kettle body welded to ensure leak-proof operation. An opening in the upper head allows for the passage of the main shaft. Between the main shaft and the round hole, a packing seal, mechanical seal, or magnetic seal can be employed. Mechanical seals are capable of withstanding pressures of tens of kilograms, while magnetic seals can handle pressures of hundreds of kilograms. This means that stainless steel reactors can be engineered to withstand pressures ranging from tens to hundreds of kilograms. On the other hand, glass-lined reactors are not designed with a closed structure but rather an open one. The connection between the head and the kettle body is established using flanges and bolts, with a layer of PTFE pad added in the middle to prevent material leakage. Due to the smooth surface of the enamel layer sintered on the inner surface of the glass-lined reactor, the flange between the upper head and the kettle body should not be tightened too tightly, resulting in lower pressure resistance. In the case of a glass-lined reactor with a mechanical seal, the pressure should not exceed 4 kg.

7. Corrosion Resistance: Protecting Against Deterioration

Corrosion resistance is a vital aspect to consider when selecting a reactor. In stainless steel reactors, the barrel and agitator are made of stainless steel, and the level of corrosion resistance depends on the grade of stainless steel chosen. Stainless steel demonstrates excellent resistance to general corrosive materials, such as food and vinegar, and remains unaffected by their presence. However, highly corrosive substances like 20% sulfuric acid and nitric acid can corrode stainless steel. In contrast, glass-lined reactors feature a layer of enamel coating on the surface in contact with the materials. This enamel layer does not chemically react with any substance, thereby safeguarding the carbon steel structure within the reactor from corrosion. As a result, glass-lined reactors offer higher corrosion resistance compared to stainless steel reactors.

8. Structural Differences: Form and Function

Structurally, stainless steel reactors and glass-lined reactors exhibit distinct characteristics. Stainless steel reactors are often larger in volume and can be designed with a closed structure. The upper head and the cylinder are welded together to ensure a robust construction. The agitator in a stainless steel reactor consists of a main shaft and blades connected by bolts, allowing for disassembly and reinstallation when necessary. On the other hand, the upper head and barrel of a glass-lined reactor are connected using flanges. A tetrafluoro gasket is inserted between the upper and lower flanges for sealing. The stirrer in a glass-lined reactor is welded using carbon steel pipe fittings and then coated with enamel, making it non-removable.

Plygen Industires supplies both stainless steel and glass-lined steel reactors. Contact us for your equipment need. With industrial-leading short lead time, we can quickly deliver your order to help you jump-start your project.