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Pickling is the most common of several processes used to remove scale from steel surfaces. This article provides a discussion on pickling solutions, such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, and describes the role of inhibitors in acid pickling. It discusses the equipment and processes involved in the batch, continuous, and electrolytic pickling of carbon steel components. The article describes the effects of process variables on scale removal in sulfuric and hydrochloric acid. It concludes with a description of pickling defects, spent pickle liquor disposal, and safety practices.

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