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Five Steps to Replacing Aged Heat-Transfer Fluid

By Sarah Douglas and Conrad Gamble Solutia Inc. |

Changing out used heat-transfer fluid is critical to the efficiency of a heat-transfer fluid system. A well-operated heat-transfer-fluid system can enable efficient production, fewer shut-downs, less maintenance time and lower costs. In order to maintain a sound heat-transfer system, it is critical that the fluid is well cared for and, when the fluid reaches the end of its life, that it is efficiently changed out for new fluid. As fluid is used and ages, it can degrade to a point where it is no longer providing sufficient heat transfer for the process. When this occurs, the fluid must be evaluated and potentially changed out to restore the system to maximum efficiency. This article presents the general steps involved in determining: when a fluid should be replaced; draining the system; flushing and cleaning; complying with regulatory requirements for disposal of the used fluid; and refilling the system.   Step 1: Fluid quality  Figure 1. Virgin fluid (left) versus aged fluid (right) are shown here. Residue on the glass slides illustrate the deteriorated condition of aged fluid   As organic heat-transfer fluids begin to age, they can break down into degradation…
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