September 2015

Heat Transfer

Determine fouling margins in tubular heat exchanger design

Fouling, which is caused mainly by the deposition and accumulation of an undesired layer of solids on a heat transfer surface, is very common in tubular heat exchangers.

Fouling, which is caused mainly by the deposition and accumulation of an undesired layer of solids on a heat transfer surface, is very common in tubular heat exchangers.1, 2 The fouling resistance caused by these deposits is equivalent to the deposit thickness divided by the deposit thermal conductivity. The rate of fouling buildup is governed by the fluid and the operating conditions.3, 4 Generally, the amount of fouling increases by increasing the operation temperature and by decreasing the fluid velocity. Proper tube material selection produces slower fouling due to corrosion. Also, the fouling factor for the same fluid can be different depending on whether heat is transferred through sen

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