Scaling can sap energy, maintenance time

04/22/2013


Solving the problem

If some means can be found to control scaling, there is potential to save energy, prevent equipment failure, reduce maintenance, and save money.

A range of physical methods can be used to remove fouling deposits. Water jetting, or sand or plastic-bead blasting can be used in accessible locations. However, such methods can be expensive and abrade surfaces.

Magnetic and electronic descaling does not stop precipitation but alters the shape of the crystals to reduce the adherence and buildup of deposits on the pipewall. Perhaps the most remarkable observation is that devices can affect descaling downstream of the point of installation; a softening and loosening of existing scale several weeks after installation is commonly reported.

To understand the mechanism, some knowledge of mineral scale precipitation is necessary. We know that in order to form a scale deposit, three conditions must be met:

  1. The solution must be supersaturated.
  2. Nucleation sites must be available at the pipe surface.
  3. Contact/residence time must be adequate.  

Electronic descaling methods are non-abrasive compared with physical methods. Courtesy: Scalewather North America Inc.To prevent scale it is necessary to remove at least one of these preconditions. Clearly, contact time is not an alterable factor. To be effective, any device must therefore affect either the supersaturation value or the nucleation process.

The direct effect on electronic devices is on the nucleation process and in particular to enhance initial nucleation through the creation of new nucleation sites within the bulk fluid flow. Crystal growth then occurs at these points of nucleation and not at the pipe wall. Suspended solids increase with a corresponding drop in the level of supersaturation, and these effects have been observed in the field. The localized pH increase near the pipewall caused by hydroxyl radicals formed by electromechanical interactions is one mechanism that drives the changed nucleation characteristics.

Electronic devices are not flow-rate dependent and can be built to fit pipe diameter up to at least 60 in. The units are lightweight and easy to install, can be retrofitted, and produce no significant magnetic field. They are usually effective on calcium carbonate, are claimed to reduce iron fouling, and appear to prevent fouling by various other substances. 

Jan de Baat Doelman is president of Scalewather North America Inc.


<< First < Previous 1 2 Next > Last >>

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Improving flowmeter calibration; Selecting flowmeters for natural gas; Case study: Streamlining assembly systems using PC-based control; CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me