Sodium hypochlorite and its effects on polyethylene.

Sodium Hypochlorite is available as solutions in varying strengths. Concentrated solutions for disinfection purposes 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 actually affected by just sodium hypochlorite, it is however effected when the sodium hypochlorite is contaminated. Causes of contamination can be trace amounts of metals from pumps, plumbing, and fittings or poor quality sodium hypochlorite. This contamination will cause accelerated deterioration of the tank over a period of time. Deterioration will manifest as brittleness and stress cracking. Sunlight will accelerate the rate of the attack.

We recommend polyethylene tanks used for sodium hypochlorite to be heavy walled or preferably crosslinked. If used outdoors tanks should contain a UV inhibitor to minimize damage.
Article Title:
Sodium hypochlorite and its effects on polyethylene.
Article Summary:
Recommendations on tanks for sodium hypochlorite.
Article Date:
1/10/2014
Article ID:
987
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