Chemistry in the City of Brotherly Love

The following presentation was given during a symposium on the “Chemistry of the City of Brotherly Love” hosted by the Younger Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society.

ACS: Chemistry in the City of Brotherly Love

Abstract: From Textiles to Metals: Manufacturing in Philadelphia
By: Stephanie Zublick, Senior Development Chemist, Harry Miller Corporation

Philadelphia has a rich history in manufacturing and in the use of chemistry in those endeavors. From the 1880’s to the 1940’s, textile manufacturing was at its peak with nearly 700 independent textile manufacturers. Products included wools, cotton, ropes, synthetic materials, ribbons, silks, military specialty fabrics, and yarns to name a few. With this industry, many different types of chemicals were developed to aid in the processing and creation of these textiles.

Many of the textile manufacturers in Philadelphia purchased their processing chemicals directly from Philadelphia based chemical manufacturers such as Harry Miller Corporation. Chemicals for this manufacturing included lubricants for carding and combing, sizing compounds for wool blends, dye assists for coloring and fabric cleaners.

In the 1950’s, Philadelphia saw a sharp decline in textile manufacturing as the industry moved south and eventually overseas. This sharply decreased the demand for the specialty chemicals required for these processes in Philadelphia.

With the advent of the US’s participation in World War II, Philadelphia chemical manufacturers saw a boom in the steel mill and metal working industries and the need for specialty chemicals for metal parts such as rust preventatives and lubricants. In the 1950’s, change in mass production processes occurred e.g. automobiles, appliances, electronic devices, radio, and aviation to name a few. Specialty chemicals were now in high demand. These chemicals include lubricants, cleaners, acid inhibitors for steel mills and drawing compounds for metal deformation, all of which are made locally in Philadelphia. Chemistry has a strong history in Philadelphia.

NOTE: This presentation will also be given during the Philadelphia STLE’s George Arbocus Education Seminar on April 20, 2017.

How an Acid Inhibitor Protects Steel

Here’s a visual (and dramatic) demonstration in our labs of how a hot acid bath will eat away at the steel your company works hard to produce. Use of one of our acid inhibitors (in this case, Activol® 1803) in the pickling process significantly reduces your surface pitting and metal loss to the acid.

Why Pickling Processes Require an Acid Inhibitor

The video below graphically demonstrates what happens to steel in hot HCl, once the scale is removed. (Remember that 90% of the scale is removed early on in the pickling process; the last tank or maybe tank and a half is necessary to remove the edge scale, which is the most difficult scale to remove.)

Therefore, for most of the process, the strip is actually descaled and is being dissolved in the acid in the form of iron chloride. The result is that the strip becomes overpickled, your yield is degraded, and the HCl is being consumed needlessly, thereby increasing your operating costs.


Learn More About Acid Inhibitors

In this video, the metal used is descaled, grade 1011 steel in a bath of hydrochloric acid. The acid is eating away at the steel at a remarkable rate until the Activol® 1803 is added to protect the steel from the pickling process. Learn more about acid inhibitors (in general) and our acid inhibitors (in particular). Looking for more corrosion inhibitors? Try our Steelgard products!

Find the Perfect Acid Inhibitor

If you have additional questions, or need assistance to determine which of our acid inhibitor products will work best for your particular process,  give us a call: 215-324-4000. We also offer special custom formulations if your needs are unique. We have over 79 years of experience and can make your manufacturing process run a little smoother.

New Pickling Design Unveiled

Turbulent Pickling Testing - Johnston and Ariano

Turbulent Pickling Testing - Johnston and ArianoA Brand New Technology

David M. Price, Scientist-Processes and Control for ArcelorMittal, visited Harry Miller Corp. on May 19th, 2015 to view the company’s laboratory pickling design that replicates turbulent pickling lines. This new laboratory procedure, developed by Nick Ariano and Stephanie Johnston, is believed to be the first of its kind in the industry and carries the trademark, DPP for Dynamic Pickling Process.

Turbulent Pickler Technology

Turbulent picklers are fast becoming the newest technology utilized by the flat-roll steel industry and present special challenges to operations that want to achieve the utmost productivity (i.e.-low acid usage per ton of steel). The cost of hydrochloric acid has risen dramatically over the past few years as demand for the acid grows in the hydraulic fracturing, secondary oil recovery market (“fracking”).

Managing Increased Costs

The corrosion rate in a turbulent pickler is dramatically higher than that experienced in the older, more traditional continuous lines that use deep or shallow baths. Given a higher rate of corrosion in these lines, HCl is consumed at a greater rate; in fact, by as much as 1.6 times!

This new challenge makes the use of a highly efficient acid inhibitor like Activol® 1803 all the more important to protect the base metal once the scale is removed. As a result of its use, acid is consumed to a much lesser degree, saving significant dollars in the process.

Visit to Japan – May 2015

May 8th-14th, Harry Miller President, Bruce Entwisle, visited Daisho Seiki Corporation outside Osaka, Japan to qualify Harry Miller Products for use in their machines. While there, he created the following photo album of his travels:

Aerokut® 500-M – Heavy Duty Cutting Oil

Aerokut® 500-M is a viscous petroleum-based cutting oil specifically compounded for medium to heavy-duty applications. Aerokut® 500-M is fortified with chlorinated and sulfurized extreme pressure additives as well as a special high-performance “moly” lubricant to provide long tool life and good finishes. The high degree of chlorination provides Aerokut® 500-M with the extreme pressure lubrication necessary for use on stainless steel, titanium, and other hard alloys where high temperatures are encountered.

Hamidraw® 1945-300 Heavy Duty Stamping and Drawing Lubricant

Hamidraw® 1945-300 is a heavy-duty stamping, blanking, and drawing lubricant for all metals. Hamidraw® 1945-300 has a viscosity of SUS 300 at 100 F. It contains extreme pressure additives to assist in difficult stamping application. 

Aerokut® 77 – Cutting Oil and Screw Machine Lubricant

Aerokut® 77 is a petroleum-based cutting oil specially compounded for use as both an internal lubricant for screw machines and as the machining lubricant. Aerokut® 77 is fortified with chlorinated and special sulfurized extreme pressure additives designed to provide both high and low temperature extreme pressure lubrication without any staining of copper based alloys. Aerokut® 77 is ideal for machines which suffer from excessive cross-contamination which would otherwise reduce machine efficiency.

Aerotap®15 – Low Viscosity Cutting Oil

Aerotap®15 is a low-viscosity petroleum-based cutting oil specially compounded for medium to heavy duty applications. Aerotap® 15 is fortified with chlorinated extreme pressure additives to provide long tool life and good finishes The high degree of chlorination provides Aerotap® 15 with the extreme pressure lubrication necessary for use on stainless steel, titanium and other alloys where high temperatures are encountered.

Kleenlube 68 – Higher Viscosity Premium Hydraulic and Way Lubricant

Kleenlube 68 is a premium quality petroleum-based lubricant specially compounded for machine tool slideways and lathes. Kleenlube 68 contains special extreme pressure additives and tackifiers designed to provide easy start-up, smooth travel and stick-slip and chatter elimination. Anti-Wear and inhibitor additives provide enhanced service life and corrosion protection. Kleenlube 68 does not contain chlorinated additives which can complicate waste characterization and disposal. Kleenlube 68 is also specially formulated to resist oxidation and viscosity changes so it can also be used as a hydraulic lubricant in machines that require an economical, versatile oil.

Aerokut® 99-SS – Heavy-Duty, Low-Odor Cutting Oil

Aerokut® 99-SS is a petroleum-based cutting oil specially compounded for medium to heavy-duty applications, including broaching, tapping, threading and shearing difficult-to-machine metals. Aerokut® 99-SS is fortified with chlorinated and sulfurized extreme pressure additives to provide long tool life and good finishes. It has very high anti-weld and lubricity properties, and the low viscosity helps to dissipate heat and flush chips from the work area. The light color, transparent, and low-odor oil improves workpiece visibility.