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Facts at your Fingertips: Heat-Transfer Fluid Selection

By Conrad Gamble, Eastman Chemical Co. |

Heat-transfer fluid selection can be intimidating when considering the long-term impact on costs and operability. The right fluid will provide optimal performance and lifecycle costs, while freeing engineers for other assignments. Most engineers do not routinely consider fluid selection, so making the proper choice is a challenge. This one-page reference offers guidance in this area, and can serve as a basis for taking advantage of the expertise of heat-transfer fluid manufacturers. Process requirements The process will define the temperature and heat-duty requirements that must be met by the fluid and the supporting heat-transfer system. The heat-transfer fluid must have the requisite thermal stability to meet the process demands, while providing long fluid life expectancy. The list of potential fluid candidates may be shortened considerably by defining the required operating temperatures. The fluid’s bulk operating temperature must be substantially above the process temperature required in order to provide the driving force for heat transfer. Next to consider are the remaining physical properties that are key to heat-transfer efficiency. These include: viscosity, density, thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the liquid.…
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