Thermal liquids, usually also referred to as thermal oil, are products that are used in installations to transfer heat or cooling.
Just like a central heating system at home, water is heated and transported through the pipe system to the various rooms in your house for heating. A thermal fluid or oil does the same thing, but usually at much higher temperatures for, for example, reactors or furnaces or to heat processes otherwise. You can also cool with some of these products. Our thermal oil products have a total range from -115 °C to + 400 °C.
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What is thermal oil usually used for?
- Where a well-controlled high temperature is required in a process.
Where several users in a production plant are desirable.
- Where temperature-sensitive products require an accurate temperature.
Where there is heating and cooling in a system.
- Where refrigerated or deep-frozen.
- Where minimal production supervision is desired.
- The temperature of a thermal oil system can be controlled much more accurately than, for example, steam installations or direct gas burners.
- There are different thermal oil types and products, each with its own specific properties. Making the right choice of a thermal oil to be used is extremely important.
The effectiveness and efficiency of the thermal installation is partly determined by the right oil for that specific application.
The wrong choice can lead to huge maintenance costs and consumption costs, even shortly after an installation has been commissioned. It is therefore important to be well informed about the specific properties and capacities of the correct thermal oil required for your thermal installation.
Two types of thermal oil
Mineral thermal oil
A mineral thermal oil is a thin oil type with good heat transfer properties and can be used up to temperatures up to 250 ° C. This type of product contains a high amount of additives to keep the carbonation of the oil in solution in the thermal system.
Although most mineral thermal oil producers recommend their products up to 300 ° C, however, the service life at that temperature is very limited unless high operating costs are accepted in the long run.
Many mineral thermal oils will have carbon at the operating temperature above 250 ° C that will negatively affect thermal efficiency, damage the installation and jeopardize the safety of the installation by silting up safety valves and other instrumentation pipes.
Synthetic thermal oil
A synthetic thermal fluid is also a very thin synthetic oil which is generally used for higher temperature systems up to 400 ° C.
The groups of synthetic thermal oils are composed of special hydrocarbon compounds, each with its own specific properties.
These synthetic thermal oil types have many advantages over a mineral thermal oil, but are usually also more expensive.
Pros and cons
Mineral thermal oil
- Wide operating spectrum up to 250 °C
- Cheap and many providers
- Temperature limitation
- Shorter service life at higher temperatures
- Regular checks for carbon formation / contamination
- Generally higher maintenance costs
- Faster replacement compared to synthetic thermal fluids
- Synthetic thermal oil
- Wide operating spectrum from -115 °C to 400 °C
- Significantly less maintenance sensitive
- Very long life when used correctly
- Relatively lower operating and consumption costs
- Higher price per liter / kg