Proper, regular cleaning of any heat exchange system is imperative for the peak performance and lifespan of that you desire in your equipment. Click here to learn about our one-of-a-kind cleaning process or read more below to discover why you should have your equipment cleaned.
Water has been called the universal solvent because it dissolves many substances. It never occurs in nature in a pure state because groundwater picks up impurities as it seeps through rock strata. Surface water also contains organic matter and insoluble suspended matter such as sand and silt. Even rain picks up oxygen and carbon dioxide as it falls to earth. Why is this important? The presence of impurities in all water means that every system accumulates these materials over time.
When water is converted into steam, the minerals previously dissolved in the water are left behind and deposit a scale on, for example, the hot boiler surfaces. This scale – mostly calcium and magnesium – is an effective insulator and slows the rate of transfer of heat to the water. When boiler surfaces are covered with scale, heat normally absorbed by the water goes up to the stack instead and the tube metal temperature rises to the point of failure. The chart below depicts this increasing energy loss due to gathering scale thickness.
The amount of scale dissolved in the feedwater is measured in parts per million (ppm). While parts per million may seem like an insignificant measurement, consider the accumulation of scale for a 100-hp boiler producing 3,450 lbs. of steam per hour with the feedwater hardness at 50 ppm.
Boiler failure occurs when scale is allowed to accumulate. Steel retains its strength up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit and it starts to weaken above that point. At 1000 degrees F, it has a hard time supporting its own weight. How does steel survive in a boiler when the flame temperature is 3,000 degrees F? It survives because the water absorbs the heat from the metal fast enough so the temperature of the metal does not reach the danger point. Start adding insulation like scale between the metal and water and the temperature of the metal increases. With enough scale, the metal will overheat, causing blisters, bags and eventually a ruptured pressure part. Remove this threat to your equipment by maintaining it with the thorough, industry-trusted clean that Ohman provides.
Do you have a question about the cleaning of your systems? Want to learn more about Ohman Descaling Services and the solutions we provide? Feel free to contact us via our web form or call us directly at 800-228-6462 today.