Are you new to the subject of heat transfer fluids? Not sure what all the industry jargon means? We've provided answers here to some of the questions we hear most often.
Heat transfer fluids come in many varieties. Each one offers unique properties to allow either indirect heating or cooling of process reactors, molds or extruders, etc., and are also used in portable oil heaters or temperature control units. Heat transfer fluids can also be called thermal oil, thermal fluids, hot oil or heat transfer oil.
Some heat transfer fluids function better in closed systems while others offer superior performance in more open systems such as plastic processing. While fluids are made of a variety of base stocks, the use of additive packages such as oxidation, rust and corrosion inhibitors is what makes the difference between a short life and long life fluid. If your system is open to the atmosphere, using a proper fluid such as Duratherm 600 will keep the system running longer and cleaner between oil changes.
Oil service life varies with the quality of fluid and the type of equipment it's used in. In extreme cases, this might be a matter of months; in some cases can be more than 10 years. The only way to know for sure if your oil still has usable life is through specific laboratory analysis. Your supplier should provide this service. Duratherm fluids come with free analysis.
No. Most petroleum-based fluids will be compatible, but some glycol, aromatic chemical or synthetic fluids may not. Always consult your supplier's technical service department for recommendations. If you are changing an incompatible fluid, ask your supplier for a compatible flushing fluid.
Most systems will not require cleaning if they are operated and maintained properly, including regular oil changes. However, if a system is improperly started or shut down, or allowed to overheat, it may require some degree of cleaning. If fluids are not changed regularly and degradation is allowed to set in, systems can require moderate to extensive cleaning to remove carbon and sludge. We have a complete line of system cleaners that will return even severely fouled systems to like-new condition.
It is normal for fluids to change color after some use, especially in older equipment. If you are sure the system is relatively clean, this is most likely the fluid's normal aging BUT does not necessarily mean it needs to be changed. The fluid should be analyzed to be sure.