An experimental study of the growth of scale on copper, nylon 6,6, semiaromatic high temperature nylon, polypropylene, polybutylene, and Teflon tubes exposed to hard water is presented. Results provide qualitative information on the scaling of polymer tubes in nonisothermal, flowing conditions expected in heat exchangers and solar absorbers. The 89-cm-long tubes were placed in tube-in-shell heat exchangers. The tubes were exposed to flowing water for 1660 h, a 1120-h pretreatment phase using tap water adjusted to supersaturation of about 2 and of 8, followed by a 540-h acceleration phase using tap water with an adjusted total calcium concentration of and a of 9. Flow rate was 4 cm/s. A 50% propylene glycol solution at was maintained on the shell side of the heat exchanger. Sections of the tubes were removed periodically to determine the extent of scaling. Results include scanning electron microscope images of the tube surfaces before and after exposure to the flowing water, x-ray diffraction to determine the crystalline phase content of the observed deposits, and chemical analysis to estimate the mass of calcium carbonate per unit surface area. A model of the scaling process is presented to help interpret the data. The data show conclusively that polymer tubes are prone to scaling. With the exception of nylon 6,6, the scaling rate on the polymers is about the same as that on copper. The nylon 6,6 substrate appears to enhance scaling. The enhancement is attributed to hydrolysis of the substrate.
Scaling in Polymer Tubes and Interpretation for Use in Solar Water Heating Systems
Contributed by the Solar Energy division of THE AMERICAL SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division May 17, 2004; for final revision June 22, 2004. Associate Technical Editor: A. Steinfeld.
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Wang , Y., Davidson, J., and Francis, L. (February 7, 2005). "Scaling in Polymer Tubes and Interpretation for Use in Solar Water Heating Systems ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. February 2005; 127(1): 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1823492
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