Flanged Heaters in Chemical Processes

Flanged heaters are an ideal choice for chemical processes to heat petroleum products. Petroleum products are often highly inflammable, and are therefore at the risk of fire/explosion hazard. For obvious reasons, electric heaters are safer than gas heaters not to mention other environmental concerns. The flanged heaters are particularly useful as immersion heaters in the chemical heating because they are efficient at the same time the risks of hazard can be minimized. Flanged immersion heaters have the heating rods immersed into the container in direct contact with the chemical.

The heat spread is instantaneous, and the optimal heat control can be achieved easily. Heating rods can be made of different materials depending on the chemical they are submerged into. There are several different materials WATTCO™ uses: steel, stainless steel, Copper, Titanium, and exotic alloys such as Incoloy® or Inconel®.

Choosing the Right Heating Rods

Choosing the right type of heating rods is very important. In most cases, water heating is simple and steel rod is more than adequate for water heating along with some other similar chemicals such as lubricant oils, heavy and light oils, as well as soap and detergent solutions. The use of steel is difficult in corrosive solutions in which case stainless steel is an ideal choice. There are also other reasons why stainless steel is preferred such as for the sanitary reason in the food industry.

Over and above, the characteristics of the chemical will determine the materials for the sheath of heating rods. Special alloys are appropriately available for extremely corrosive chemicals such as salt water in order to avoid the sheath breach resulting from excessive durations in which case titanium is a good choice.
The sheath material protects the heating elements, and therefore need be selected precisely for the type of chemicals and the application purposes for which it will be used.

Application for the Flanged Heaters

There are several application purposes that a flanged heater might be considered for. Besides boiling water, which is its main application purpose, it can also be used for viscous materials to maintain viscosity, heating of solvents or other process solutions and gases, and also for steam generation. Some of these applications require indirect heating as opposed to direct heating approach. For indirect heating, it is often used within a closed loop of separate chamber or pipe that is residing within the container.

The indirect heating is most useful for maintaining viscosity of oils where the heat transfer must be steady and the temperature at a predetermined level. WATTCO™ flanged heaters and pipe heaters are designed to provide the efficient heat transfer and effective temperature control necessary to maintain the viscosity using the right sheath material for the specific application and the digital control panel to micromanage the heat transfer for an optimal performance.

The flanged heaters are offered in various sizes, from 2 inches up to 42 inches long, with the flanged ratings of 150 LBS, 300 LBS, or 600 LBS ANSI. There are also custom sizes and ratings available to address the unique situations that may require non-standard applications. The control panels are usually housed in NEMA 1 Standard Terminal Box with optional NEMA 4 and NEMA 7 for protection from moisture and explosion respectively.