Application Note

3M Purification Filtration In Process Cooling Water

Source: 3M Separation and Purification Sciences Division

By Edward Koch

The water used in cooling water systems must be filtered to reduce particulates and help protect downstream process equipment from various sources of contamination at numerous entry points. External sources of particulate contamination include make-up water added in the cooling tower section, degradation of equipment seals, gasket materials and improper maintenance procedures. Particles can also originate within the system caused by rust or scale from piping and vessels.

Whether externally or internally generated, particulates can potentially cause serious problems:

Heat Exchanger Fouling
Solids deposited on heat exchanger surfaces can cause hot spots to form. Hot spots are where accelerated corrosion can occur, leading to heat exchanger failure and costly repairs or replacement.

Equipment Damage
A poor performing heat exchanger can reduce the ability of the process water to absorb heat from the process equipment, which can damage or lead to replacement of sensitive process side equipment. Particulates can also clog piping, valves and pumps—causing high maintenance or replacement costs.

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