05 May 1997 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Dow Chemical has launched a thermally stable low-pressure heat transfer fluid which it claims will last much longer than fluids currently available.
Dowtherm RP is a high-purity diaryl alkyl which can be used at temperatures as high as 350°C without any significant degradation.
Most thermal fluids have chain lengths in the range of C18-C24. One of the problems of existing thermal fluids, such as hydrogenated terphenyl fluid and dibenzyl toluene fluid, is that they produce higher molecular weight compounds upon thermal degradation.This leads to higher viscosities and fouling of surfaces.
'Dowtherm RP breaks down to lower molecular weight compounds only, it does not make these other high molecular weight compounds,' said John Cuthbert, development associate in Dow's thermal fluids group. These lower molecular weight degradation products can be easily vented from the system.
Dow is marketing the fluid for general applications in low-pressure, high-temperature processes. In particular, it is looking at applications in the fibre and fibre feed industries such as PET and PTA plants.
'This is not just another "me-too" product, it truly fills a void,' said Tom Frazier, Dow's senior market manager responsible for Dowtherm RP. The company is making Dowtherm RP available worldwide.
According to industry estimates the world market for heat trasfer fluids is growing at between 3-5% annually.
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