Fouling is one of the major factors that drastically affects heat exchanger performance. Especially in Middle East where most of the heat exchangers are air cooled due to scarcity of water. As these heat exchangers are placed in a harsh climate, they are at high risk of low performance due to dusty/sticky particulate fouling. In order to identify possible active/passive methods to control or ideally eliminate particulate fouling, it is desirable to know exact thermophysical properties of such particulate fouling. This study presents thermophysical property characterization of selected fouling samples from eight different fin fan heat exchangers installed in an oil & gas facility in the Middle East. Laser flash Analysis (LFA) method is a well-known technique for measurement of the thermophysical properties: thermal diffusivity, specific heat and thermal conductivity of materials. A new technique was developed to prepare powder particulate fouling samples to make them as disc shaped samples while maintaining the range of ± 12 mm diameter and ± 2 mm thickness. The LFA measurements was conducted using LFA 447 Nano Flash Netzsch over the temperature range from 25 °C to 125°C. The thermal diffusivity was measured with an accuracy of ± 3% and the specific heat capacity with an accuracy of ± 5%. As the thermal conductivity is a product of these two measured values, is calculated with an accuracy of ± 5.8% and the measurement repeatability was within 2%.

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