Fouling of heat transfer surfaces



Fouling and/or scaling of heat transfer surfaces causes serious problems in industry. Prevention of fouling is therefore essential for technical (considerable deterioration of heat transfer) and also economic reasons (increased costs). In order to provide successful countermeasures, it is, however, necessary to obtain more detailed information on the physical, chemical and biological processes which produce fouling. Based on the already known fouling mechanisms, it is shown that a satisfactory prediction of fouling behaviour of heat exchangers is not yet possible. This contribution presents a physical model for the description of fouling, caused by sedimentation and crystallization. It is assumed that, during fouling, deposition and removal processes overlap. In order to verify the theoretical considerations, experiments were carried out on a test rig, which could also be used for field experiments. Aqueous CaSO4 solutions served as experimental liquids. A comparison of experimental and calculated fouling factors shows a satisfactory agreement.