The very word – sludge – conjures up nothing but nasty images! There is no application for sludge that seems appealing. And in fact, sludge buildup is a big problem for manufacturers. Causing work stoppage and downtime, sludge buildup can bring a manufacturing process to a grinding halt. The clean up can be costly – and in some cases, even dangerous. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with sludge that can reduce all of these issues.
So what causes sludge buildup in the first place? In a heat exchanger, where the intention is to cool or heat one kind of material with another, particulate can accumulate rapidly inside the exchanger. Known as fouling, particulates build up in the exchanger over time. Usually, this build up is composed of solid mineral deposits, since water is the most common exchange medium. However, particulate can even build up as organic matter that causes tar or cokes with decomposition. Other processes, like polymerization, oxidation, and crystallization can create corrosion, lime scale buildup and rust. However it happens, the results are icky and difficult to deal with.
Once sludge buildup begins, the heat transfer process begins to slow down and become less effective. This causes wear and tear on the heat exchanger, eventually creating the risk of system breakdown and product shutdown. Even if it doesn’t get that far, the equipment needs to be cleaned periodically (and stopped) to reduce the buildup.
However, working with better technology – such as the Komax Klean-Wall Heat Exchanger – creates a better experience for the plant. By utilizing static mixer elements that will not clog, debris can pass as large as half the pipe’s diameter without creating sludge. Because of its construction, this heater will not degrade over time. A Komax Klean-Wall Heat Exchanger should never need cleaning; but even if cleaning is required, the method for cleaning is far easier to access than older systems.
Sludge can remain a dirty word, not a plant process, with a Komax Klean-Wall Heat Exchanger!