An objective evaluation of common structural materials used in the construction of industrial cooling towers is made, based on their physical properties. The result is that steel offers the best overall combination of desirable properties, provided that a solution to corrosion in the industrial environment can be found. The theory of corrosion and accepted methods of corrosion protection are examined. A recently developed protection system utilizing a thermosetting hybrid polymer fusion-bonded to a hot-dip galvanized steel substrate (patent pending) is reviewed, with emphasis on how it was developed, and how its performance has been proven through a variety of chemical and mechanical tests. A conclusion is reached that steel with appropriate corrosion protection should be the preferred structural material for industrial cooling towers.

83-08: An Evaluation of Steel as a Cooling Tower Structural Material

  • David Hutton, P.E., Bac-Pritchard Inc.