A corrosive is any substance which, when in contact with living tissue causes severe damage or which, when in contact with organic matter or with certain chemicals, may cause a fire. There are currently no regulations regarding the construction of corrosive/acid cabinets. Many are made of polyethylene or wood and they are usually blue in color. The EPA does require that the cabinet be able to retain spills.
Safety cabinets for Corrosives and Acids should be selected for their durability. It is critical that incompatible corrosives, acids and flammables, be stored separately to avoid disastrous reactions or fire. Flammables must be stored in a cabinet designed to safely contain them. There are four different types of cabinet construction available for the safe storage of corrosives:
- Double-wall steel
- Molded polyethylene
- Wood with a laminate finish
- Lined double wall steel, which can serve as a dual cabinet
Double-wall steel, with a 100% seamless liner on all interior walls, ceilings, inside doors and shelves protects all cabinet surfaces from rust and corrosion. The steel cabinet is coated inside and out with a baked-on epoxy. There are no rivets in the seam free construction and the non-porous surface resists staining. Spills can be cleaned up easily as the polyethylene shelves can be removed.
Polyethylene is most commonly used and this is probably due to the fact that it can be tightly welded at the seams, thus providing better leak protection. Polyethylene is chemically inert and is impervious to harmful acid vapors and corrosive chemicals. It can resist damage from strong chemicals such as sulfuric acid, hydrochloric and nitric acids.
Wooden cabinets with a laminate finish are quite durable but the types of chemicals stored should be carefully evaluated. Several acids are incompatible with wood and could ignite if spilled. However, some experts believe that wooden cabinets are the best for chemical durability. The long-lasting, wood core construction provides exceptional strength and the stainless steel hinges and handles resist the corrosive effects of harsh acids and bases. The wooden construction does NOT meet the requirements for storing flammable liquids.
Double Wall Steel Cabinet For Dual Storage
This double-walled steel cabinet has been formulated for use in laboratories and has dual cabinets. Both have separate locking doors and 1.5″ air space dividing the 2 compartments. It has all the features of the steel walled cabinet and has dual vents and grounding connections. It can be used to store corrosives on one side and flammable or combustibles on the second side. Each side is well identified with large warning signs.