When impurities precipitate out of water onto heat transfer surfaces, boiler scale buildup begins to form. When enough scale buildup develops, it can get in the way of heat transfers and even cause hot spots that lead to local overheating. Some of the most common contaminants in feed water that can result in boiler deposits and buildup include silica, magnesium, iron, and calcium.
The Risks of Boiler Scale Buildup
While heat transfer issues are one of the main problems associated with boiler scale buildup, if left to continually develop, this buildup can reduce the efficiency of the builder due to heat retardation. If left unchecked, the boiler scale buildup can result in the tube overheating and in severe cases, rupturing.
These boiler deposits can also partially obstruct or plug certain parts of the boiler. Overall, boiler scale buildup can dramatically minimize a boiler’s efficiency, damage the boiler’s components, result in outages, and increase the total cost of cleaning the system.
How to Prevent Boiler Scale Buildup
The first step towards preventing significant boiler scale buildup is to make sure de-mineralized water is used for feed water. When the feed water is as pure as possible, the chances of scale forming are drastically reduced. If minerals that typically result in scale do enter the boiler, they can also become harmless because of chemical treatment that occurs internally.