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Sodium hypochlorite & its effects on polyethylene

Sodium Hypochlorite is available as a solution in varying strengths. Concentrated solutions for disinfection may contain 10% to 18% available chlorine, while domestic and laundry bleaches typically contain 3% to 6% available chlorine. United States Plastic Corp.® does not recommend our polyethylene tanks for concentrations above 16.5%, and concentrations between 12% and 16.5% should not be used at elevated temperatures.

Polyethylene is not affected by just sodium hypochlorite; it is, however, affected when the sodium hypochlorite is contaminated. Causes of contamination can be trace metals from pumps, plumbing, and fittings or poor-quality sodium hypochlorite. This contamination will cause accelerated deterioration of the tank over time. Deterioration will manifest as brittleness and stress cracking. Sunlight will accelerate the rate of the attack.

We recommend that polyethylene tanks used for sodium hypochlorite be heavy-walled or cross-linked. If used outdoors, tanks should contain a UV inhibitor to minimize damage.

Title: Sodium hypochlorite & its effects on polyethylene
Description: Recommendations on tanks for sodium hypochlorite.
Published: 1/10/2014
Last Edited: 1/23/2023
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