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True alkaline chemicals include caustic soda or sodium hydroxide (NaOH), caustic potash or potassium hydroxide (KOH), and soda ash or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). This article reviews alkaline chemicals and provides a basis for a general discussion on various alkaline exposures. It describes the corrosion effects of caustic soda on aluminum and aluminum alloys, iron and steel, carbon and low-alloy steels, stainless steels, high-performance austenitic alloys, nickel and nickel alloys, copper and copper alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, and zirconium and zirconium alloys. The article discusses the corrosion effects of caustic soda on nonmetallic materials: plastics, thermoplastics, thermosetting resin materials, carbon and graphite, and ceramics. It concludes with information on the effects of contamination of and by caustic and of admixtures of caustic with other chemicals including chlorates, chlorides, chlorine/hypochlorite, mercury, sulfur, and iron.

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