November 2002

Maintenance/Heat Transfer

Prevent fires in thermal oil heat transfer systems

Follow these selection, installation and maintenance guidelines

Oetinger, J., Paratherm Corp.

Thermal oil systems have proven exceptionally safe over the many years they have served industry. Like any other industrial system, however, proper design, installation and maintenance of these systems is critical to their smooth functioning and extended operating life. With rare exceptions, the limited number of fires that do occur in thermal oil systems occur in insulation. Fluid leaking from valves, gasketing, welds or instrument ports finds its way into porous insulation and wicks through. Remaining as hot as the system itself, the fluid comes into intimate contact with the air in the insulation's millions of pockets. Should the insulation be opened up when the system is hot, fresh ai

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