Minimizing Heat Exchanger Corrosion and Fouling

Minimizing Heat Exchanger Corrosion and Fouling

Minimizing Heat Exchanger Corrosion and Fouling

Heat exchangers are essential components in many industrial processes, and are used to transfer heat between process streams. Unfortunately, fouling and corrosion can occur in heat exchangers, leading to reduced efficiency, higher operating costs, and eventually, equipment failure. Here are some ways to minimize fouling and corrosion in heat exchangers to ensure optimal performance with heat exchanger maintenance. Let’s discuss some tips and how to find heat exchangers in Edmonton.

Heat Exchangers Functions Explained

Industrial heat exchangers are used to transfer heat energy from one fluid to another. Heat exchangers are most commonly used in heating, cooling, evaporation, and condensation processes.  By flowing a liquid or gas inside tubes, heat transfer will occur to another liquid or gas outside the tubes via conduction.     

What is Fouling in a Heat Exchanger

Fouling is the accumulation of foreign material on the inside surfaces of a heat exchanger. This accumulation of materials will reduce the efficiency of a heat exchanger, as it acts as a layer of insulation on the surfaces and reduces heat transfer rates. Fouling can also encourage corrosion.   

How to Avoid Fouling and Corrosion

There are steps that can be taken to reduce fouling and corrosion in heat exchangers. It is important to ensure that the fluids being used are clean and that the exchanger is properly maintained and monitored. Controlling pH and chemistry through treatments and additives may be sufficient. Regular cleaning (chemical, mechanical, or ultrasonic) can help to reduce the buildup of foreign materials and corrosion. Further, heat exchangers should be designed to limit dead-spots and maximize velocity within allowable design constraints. It is also important to use appropriate materials when designing and manufacturing the heat exchanger, as materials selected for specific process conditions will be more resistant to corrosion.

Anti-fouling coatings are available to make tubes “non-stick” like cookware.  Anti-corrosion coatings are also available to protect vulnerable surfaces like tubesheets and heads. Anodes can also be used to control corrosion rates in some services.

Costs Associated with Fouling

Fouling in a heat exchanger can lead to a number of different costs, including increased energy costs, capital (replacement) costs, and production losses from downtime (maintenance). Energy costs increase due to reduced efficiency, as more energy is needed to heat or cool the same amount of fluid. Capital costs can also increase due to the cost of replacing a heat exchanger that has been damaged by fouling or corrosion. In addition, production losses can occur due to downtime for maintenance or repairs (such as re-tubing).

Environmental Costs from Disposal

Finally, fouling can also lead to environmental costs, as the materials that build up in a heat exchanger may need to be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. This can add to the overall costs associated with fouling and corrosion in heat exchangers.

By following these tips, you can minimize fouling and corrosion in heat exchangers and ensure optimal performance. It is important to take the necessary steps to maintain and monitor your heat exchangers and to use the correct materials when constructing them. Doing so can help to reduce the costs associated with fouling and corrosion and ensure long-term performance.

Work With the Leading Manufacturer of Heat Exchangers and Heat Exchanger Maintenance in Edmonton, Altex

Altex is a leading manufacturer of heat exchangers in Edmonton and the surrounding area. With years of experience, we have the knowledge and expertise to design and build custom heat exchangers for a variety of applications. Our team of engineers is dedicated to providing the best possible product for the best possible price.

Contact us today to learn more about our heat exchanger design and manufacturing services and professional heat exchanger maintenance.