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Finding a Unique Solution to a Corrosive Problem: Industrial Stainless Steel Tank’s for Salt Production

MARKS - May 19, 2022 - 0 comments

Industrial Stainless Steel Tank Case Study: Jacobsen Salt

Finding a Unique Solution to a Corrosive Problem

MARKS Design and Metalworks is a U.S. leader in manufacturing stainless steel tanks, vessels, and equipment. We custom design and fabricate all types of tanks for a full range of industries, including brewery and beverages, wastewater and renewable energy, paint and laminates, marine, cannabis and ingredient extraction, and many others.

MARKS was approached by Jacobsen Salt with a significant corrosive problem in their current tanks.  Working with MARKS team of engineers, a unique solution was found that keeps Jacobsen Salt producing the best artisanal salt in the U.S.

About Jacobsen Salt


Founded in 2011, Jacobsen Salt is the first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since the 1800s. The process of extracting and purifying flaked salt is not so different than it was in generations past.

Seawater is pumped from Oregon’s Netarts Bay, filtered, and stored. Seawater is naturally an approximately 6% salt brine. This brine must be processed, but salt and heat are notoriously hard on equipment, as Jacobsen quickly found.

Boil pots were corroding, cracking, and leaking. Though there has continued to be strong demand for their artisan salts, production was seriously hampered. This is the situation Jacobsen found themselves in when they contacted MARKS.



MARKS prides itself on its talented multi-discipline engineering team, combined with a healthy dose of pragmatism. Our team looks for technical solutions that satisfy the overall need but is cognizant of budget constraints and timelines. Initial discussions focused on some of our most common materials, 304 SS and 316 SS respectively. These were quickly rejected as the high chloride content in the brine could quickly compromise the stainless steel base metal.

Finding a Unique Solution to a Corrosive Problem

More exotic materials were considered including 317 stainless, titanium and various duplex stainless steel alloys. The latter offers outstanding resistance to chloride pitting, crevice corrosion and stress corrosion cracking which made it look like a good solution.

MARKS experts in purchasing went to work locating available stock of these exotic alloys.

It became apparent there were going to be many significant supply chain issues, and the costs were substantial. The MARKS team determined none of these solutions were viable due to cost, material availability, and manufacturing complexity. MARKS needed to find another solution to Jacobsen’s problem.



With budget and chloride resistance in mind MARKS again searched for options. Ron Miller, Engineering Manager at MARKS put it best, “since base metal selections don’t work for this project, can we isolate the chloride from the heated boil pot with a coating?”. This led to a new solution. What could be used in conjunction with common alloys that would offer good heat transfer, corrosion resistance, and still be cost effective? Jacobsen had previously used aluminum pots which didn’t have pitting problems but could not hold up in the long hours of heating. There was the solution! What if MARKS built a 304 stainless steel pot, but with an aluminum coating? It is much more cost effective than the exotic alloys, readily available, and even allows for retreatment of the coating for refurbishment.

Jacobsen has since purchased 5 of these tanks. When put into use, they found another benefit of the spray coating process. All previous tanks had significant calcium buildup on the bottom of the tank which had to be scraped out manually after each batch. The aluminum spray coat greatly reduced the calcium’s tendency to adhere to the tank bottom, increasing heat transfer while reducing the labor required to clean.



Look to MARKS for Your Industrial Tank Needs

MARKS builds a wide variety of stainless steel vessels, tanks, and equipment for industrial applications. No matter the industry, each and every project has its own unique challenges. MARKS approach is to apply our engineering prowess and pragmatism. Contact MARKS to find a solution for all your industrial tank needs. or call 360-859-3535

Check out some of our other industrial projects like Building an Entire Industrial System or MARKS Flanged and Dished Heads

Finding a Unique Solution to a Corrosive Problem

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