Restricted Water Flow

My system’s water flow is restricted.

Here’s why: Scale and scale-like deposits including calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, magnesium silicate, silica and other mineral compounds build up on heat exchanger tubes not only reducing heat transfer but, in significant amounts, restricting water flow.

So what: Deposit build-up reduces production and can compromise product quality. System overheating can also cause serious equipment damage, expensive downtime and lost revenue.

How we fight: Buckman, based on an integrated approach, will act on one or all the following strategies to successfully control scale.

1. Limit the concentration of critical ions. This can be accomplished by pretreatment of the water or by limiting the tower cycles of concentration.

2. Reduce alkalinity with acid. This removes carbonate and bicarbonate by converting them to CO2. Since the carbonate level is controlled, the potential for calcium carbonate is restricted.

3. Alter system design or operation. Options include:

  • Increasing cooling water velocity, which keeps the water cooler.
  • Using compressed air to “air rumble” the heat exchanger inlet water on a periodic basis to dislodge and remove scales and deposits.
  • Modifying the exchanger design so that the cooling water is on the tube side, promoting higher velocity.
  • Changing the metallurgy of the heat transfer surface. Mild steel heat transfer surfaces will scale under conditions where copper and other alloys will not due to corrosion and surface roughness.
  • Reducing the heat flux, either by reducing the process load or by increasing heat exchanger size and, as a result, reducing metal surface temperature and bulk water temperature.

4. Apply chemical deposit inhibitors. Buckman applies several types that act in distinctly different ways to optimize deposit control at every stage.