Fouling can be defined as the formation of deposits on heat transfer surfaces that impede heat transfer and increase the resistance to fluid flow. The presence of fouling deposits result in the loss of equipment efficiency, the loss of equipment utilization, the requirement of additional capital expenditures, and adds the cost of cleaning to a process. The cost of fouling to all industries using heat exchangers in the United States was estimated to be 2 x 10+1 dollars per year in 1995. Thus, the control or mitigation of fouling is critical to all industries which employ heat transfer equipment. In this work, a simplified transient heat transfer resistance fouling measurement apparatus was designed and a simplified analysis protocol was formulated. The design of the apparatus was optimized through first order parametric modeling and finite difference modeling of the system. A solvent evaporation technique was utilized to deposit a film of known thickness and thermal conductivity inside the apparatus. Testing results, from before and after fouling deposition, indicate that the apparatus and analysis protocol were capable of measuring fouling thermal resistances of 2.6 m2 K/W. This measurement capability is comparable to the most sensitive fouling monitors disclosed in the open literature.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Heat exchangers--Fouling; Heat--Transmission
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Gruszczynski, David, "Design, development, and performance of a transient heat transfer resistance fouling monitor" (1997). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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