Exploration of alternative models for the aging of fouling deposits



The effect of fouling in heat-transfer devices (HTDs) is complicated by aging of the fouling deposits. Aging is, like deposition, often sensitive to temperature, so that heat transfer, deposition, and aging are coupled phenomena. Ishiyama et al. (AIChE J. 2010;56:531–545) presented a distributed model of the aging of deposits formed by chemical reaction fouling and illustrated its effect on thermal and hydraulic performance of a HTD operating in the turbulent flow regime. Two-layer models, simpler than the distributed model, are explored. The deposit is considered to consist of two layers, fresh and aged; this simple picture is shown to be sufficient to interpret thermal and hydraulic aspects of deposit aging when HTDs are operated at constant heat flux (as reflecting laboratory experiments) but not in cases where the constant wall temperature approximation is more realistic. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011