Surface-initiated Polymer brush as anti-scaling coating for plate heat exchangers

In a recently published study, researchers evaluated the feasibility of surface-initiated polymerisation (SIP) as thin coating technology to mitigate CaCO3 formation for heat transfer applications.

Ice cubes.
Inorganic fouling is one of the challenging problems in heat exchanger applications. Source: Bru-nO / Pixabay. -

The extent of formation of CaCO3 on different types of poly(oligoethyleneglycol) methacrylate brushes (POEGMA) was investigated under stagnant and flow heat-exchanging conditions. Polymer brushes of high graft density reduced the surface coverage of CaCO3 more effectively than the low graft density brushes. By contrast, the thickness of the brush did not correlate with the surface coverage of CaCO3.

Performance extension by POEGMA brushes

The comparison of stagnant and flow experiments revealed that the antiscaling property of POEGMA brushes was due to low adhesion CaCO3 deposits though the brushes themselves do not prevent the nucleation of CaCO3. b. Finally, the SIP process was successfully scaled-up to coat commercial heat exchanger plates with thickness and homogeneity comparable to lab-scale surfaces. Under industrial testing, the POEGMA brushes extended the performance by 50 h before the commencement of complete blockage.

The study is published in: Progress in Organic Coatings Volume 136, November 2019, 105196.

Image source: Pixabay

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