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Changing Fluids in a High-Temperature Heat Transfer Fluid System

By Gerald E. Guffey II, Eastman Chemical Co. |

Switching from one fluid to another in a heat transfer system requires an engineering evaluation. Here is what to include In well-designed and well-maintained heat transfer systems, heat transfer fluids generally last for a long time and function as intended. However, there are situations in which it is necessary to change heat transfer fluids. When a switch in fluids is required, facilities in the chemical process industries (CPI) should pay careful attention to a number of important considerations surrounding the properties of the old and new fluids, as well as the design of the heat transfer system. This article provides information about conducting an engineering evaluation to determine how the fluid change will affect safety, environmental concerns, system maintenance and process performance. Heat transfer system operation Steam is often used for process heating. Primarily, steam transfers heat when it condenses. To transfer heat at high temperature, the steam pressure must be very high. For example, 600-psig steam condenses at approximately 490°F, but many processes require heating to higher temperatures than that. For these applications, a heat transfer fluid can be used. Heat transfer fluids are sometimes referred to as…
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