Heat exchangers are some of the most important pieces of process equipment across a wide variety of industries. Proof to this is that, in 2018, the heat exchanger market was estimated at more than seven billion. It is said to expand to over 8% up to 2025.
Despite the name, heat exchangers can be used for either heating or cooling purposes. In the industrial sector, especially within plants and refineries, they are widely used for cooling. Because of the pivotal role that they play, it is a must to keep heat transfer equipment in tip-top shape. Otherwise, production can easily come to an unnecessary halt.
When it comes to replacing these crucial pieces of equipment or having them designed specifically for the industry, the importance of approaching nothing but the most reliable heat exchanger manufacturer cannot be stressed enough.
Telltale signs that it’s time to get in touch with a heat transfer equipment designer and manufacturer with years of experience are varied. Becoming aware of them and taking the necessary steps without delay is a definite must to keep at bay damage to other processing components, accidents, deaths, and many other types of losses.
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Before having any visual confirmation of a problem with heat exchangers, most of the time, the nose will be alerted in the form of unusual smells. In many instances, the smell is quite similar to that of formaldehyde, which means that it can irritate the upper airways, cause a burning sensation in the throat, and leave the eyes red and watery. Some people may also wind up experiencing nausea and headaches.
Unfavorable Physical Symptoms
One of the gases that may escape from damaged heat transfer equipment is carbon monoxide. It’s no secret that it is a highly poisonous gas. The problem with carbon monoxide is that it’s odourless, which means that it can be impossible for the nose to detect its presence.
Defective heat exchangers that permit carbon monoxide leakage usually cause fatigue, headaches, nausea and fever, all of which are linked to carbon monoxide poisoning. Immediate medical attention is needed to prevent risks and complications from striking. According to the Centers for Control Disease and Prevention (CDC), over 400 people in the US die of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning yearly.
Black Soot Accumulation
It may be high time to seek the help of a reputable heat exchanger manufacturer if there is a noticeable buildup of black soot inside or outside a piece of equipment that relies on a heat exchanger for its proper functioning. The presence of black soot is usually an indicator that something isn’t burning quite correctly. It is a matter that needs to be addressed right away as it may result in the production of deadly carbon monoxide.
Cracks and Corrosion in Other Parts
Other than the problematic heat exchanger itself, other components of the entire equipment may be in jeopardy, too. The presence of cracks and corrosion are some of the early signs that the problem is moving beyond the heat exchanger.
Heating and cooling can cause the expansion and contraction of components, and this can lead to the formation of stress cracks. On the other hand, corrosion can form as a result of unnecessary emission of moisture or certain gases.
Because of the crucial role that heat transfer equipment plays, it’s a must to have them repaired or replaced without any delay.