In Depth Answers to a few Frequently Asked Questions about Heat Transfer Fluids
The technology of heat transfer fluids is not extremely complicated. It involves liquids, heaters, pumps, flow rates, thermal and physical properties, and a few basic engineering principles.
Still, some of the more curious aspects of the fluids themselves fit with common-sense expectations, while at the same time, some other behaviors of these rascals fit into the non-intuitive category.
As one of the leading publishers of online content and information about the technology and use of heat transfer fluids in the process industries, we get a fair number of questions…
Questions that we are happy to help answer for you and questions that reach both ends of a very broad spectrum. That being said, we have found that there are just a few questions that we hear more than others. In an effort to help guide our customers to the best understanding possible of our products, we have put together a list of the top questions that we receive as well as providing our answers.
Here are three of them, in no particular order. In future blog postings, we’ll add to this list.
If we did not cover a question that you have, please call us! We would love to hear from you.
Q1. If I can use water why would I want to use HTF?
A1. You probably wouldn’t. We often tell people that they’re better off with water, or water with freeze protection There are, however exceptions:
- Once you get above 212°F, water boils and thus creates pressure in the system. Get up to 400° and that pressure becomes substantial. Non-aqueous heat transfer fluids don’t reach their boiling ranges until above 600°F. High pressures (think steam) require different equipment, oversight, and maintenance practices for application and process management.
- Water also freezes at 32°F. Non-aqueous HTFs will remain liquid down to 0, -10, -35 and lower.
- Water is also corrosive unless carefully treated and maintained. Not HTF.
Q2. What presentations do you offer?
A2. 5-gallon poly pails, 55-gallon steel drums, 1000-liter skidded totes, 330-gallon totes, and bulk by the gallon in trailer tankwagons or lined ocean 20- and 40-foot containers.
Q3. Do you have local stock in Silverville?
A3. Paratherm has North American stock in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada, and Ontario. Internationally, in Europe and with distributors in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, China and Thailand. Not all products are stocked in all locations. Call for specific availability.
Q4. Do you have a fluid for a) 800 degrees F? b) 1200°F? c) -100°C?
A4. a) 800°F – We don’t but we know manufacturers that do. This is the limit for commonly used chemistries. Paratherm’s highest temperature product will withstand a film-temperature of 750°F
- b) 1200°F – Nobody does. Rarely used molten salts have performed over 900°F, but they’re quite a challenge to handle and utilize. We can recommend firms who provide these products, and engineer these systems.
- c) -100°C – Paratherm’s lowest goes to -88°C. For lower temperatures, other technologies such as liquid nitrogen and helium are used.