Heat Exchanger Cleaning 101:The Why And The How

Heat Exchanger Cleaning 101:The Why And The How

In a wide variety of industries, the heat exchangers are the center of critical operating systems. A heat exchanger is an important piece of machinery that transfers heat from one medium to another, such as removing heat from hot oil by using cold water or air. Power plants, industrial chemical plants, and everything in between rely on heat exchangers to maintain stability in their heat management systems. Heat exchanger cleaning can seem like a mystery, but it is extremely necessary and surprisingly easy to do.

Why Is Heat Exchanger Cleaning Needed?

When rust or other scales build up, even in small amounts, there can be a drastic reduction in the heat transfer efficiency of the exchanger. When the exchanger has to work harder, it will drive up cost and reduce reliability as it uses more energy. As debris builds up and the heat exchanger becomes clogged and fouled, it can lead to a complete shutdown of the equipment. Once the exchanger it shut down, it requires extensive and costly maintenance that will drastically affect the operation’s productivity. To avoid this disastrous and expensive outcome, make sure that you schedule regular industrial cleaning for your heat exchanger.

How Do You Clean A Heat Exchanger?

Heat exchangers can be tricky pieces of equipment with a lot of moving parts, and because of this traditional cleaning solutions tend to be ineffective. One of the best heat exchanger cleaning options is dry ice blasting. While dry ice isn’t actually ice — it’s Carbon Dioxide in solid form, at a temperature of -79 degrees Celsius — it is incredibly effective at cleaning the equipment without damaging it. Similar to high-pressure water blasting, which uses a small nozzle that forces a jet of water onto the surface, dry ice blasting targets the dirty areas with a high force of Carbon Dioxide. Its advantage is that it does not use any liquids or caustic solvents, which could damage equipment in the long-term. Dry ice blasting also allows units to be cleaned in-place, rather than transferred to other locations.

When your industry relies on heat exchangers to maintain the functionality of the entire operation, you must make sure those exchangers are clean. Scheduling a dry ice blasting service now will save you the costs of a heat exchanger shutdown later on.

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