Thermal resistance due to fouling deposits

Description

Often during their use, heat exchangers collect a layer of fouling on the surface which, in addition to potentially contaminating a stream, reduces the effectiveness of heat exchangers. In a fouled heat exchanger the buildup on the walls creates an additional layer of materials that heat must flow through. Due to this new layer, there is additional resistance within the heat exchanger and thus the overall heat transfer coefficient of the exchanger is reduced.

The fouling resistances can be calculated for a specific heat exchanger if the average thickness and thermal conductivity of the fouling are known. The product of the average thickness and thermal conductivity will result in the fouling resistance on a specific side of the heat exchanger.

Related formulas

Variables

Rfresistance on a specific side of the heat exchanger (m2*K/W)
dFaverage thickness of the fouling in a heat exchanger (m)
kFthermal conductivity of the fouling (W/m*K)