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How and When to Change Your Heat Transfer Fluid

By Eastman |

When it comes to protecting the performance of your applications—from the extremes of solar energy production to pharmaceuticals and throughout the multitude of processes in between—choosing the right heat transfer fluid is crucial, but it’s not the only step. Ensuring that you have the right fluid for the job requires annual sampling and analysis—and knowing when to replace it, if necessary.

Most high quality heat transfer fluids are designed to provide years of trouble-free service. However, depending on the time and temperature of each application, design, and operation, actual fluid life can vary widely from system to system.

Throughout their lifetime, the most common reasons to replace fluids include:

  • Elevated viscosity resulting in impaired low temperature fluid performance

  • Elevated quantities of high molecular weight degradation products approaching or, in the worst cases, exceeding their limit of solubility in the subject fluid

  • Contamination of the heat transfer fluid with foreign compounds

  • Increased energy costs of aged fluid at both the heater (energy input) and pumping energy costs

  • Heat transfer efficiency losses at process heat users, potentially impacting throughput rates

  • Accelerated thermal degradation of the fluid in deteriorated condition


Over time, if there is significant overheating and fluid contamination, the quality of your heat transfer fluid system will deteriorate and ultimately impact the performance of your operation.

That’s why it’s important to conduct an in-depth analysis of your fluid each year. In fact, major insurance underwriters and fire prevention associations are in agreement regarding the value of frequent heat transfer fluid analysis.

At Eastman, we provide the TLC Total Lifecycle Care® program for all of our products, including a complimentary sample testing and analysis of in-service heat transfer fluids, allowing you to proactively monitor your system and plan ahead for fluid replacement before you ever experience a significant loss in system performance.

We’re committed to providing you with the resources you need to detect contamination, moisture, thermal degradation, and other conditions that may impact system performance. As a result, our comprehensive report includes the acid number, kinematic viscosity, acetone insoluble solids, low boilers, high boilers, and moisture content of your fluid as well as suggestions for corrective action, if necessary.

Armed with this information, you can know the exact condition of your fluid and how long you can continue to expect it to perform.

Oftentimes, deposits from oxidized, thermally degraded, or contaminated fluid can foul interior surfaces. Based on the condition of your system, it may be necessary to clean it prior to introducing new fluid. If so, Therminol® FF flush fluid can help restore your system, preparing it for the next liquid phase heat transfer fluid.

If you want to test your heat transfer fluid, request an all-inclusive sample analysis kit today. Our ISO-certified laboratories are located on four continents and can support fluid sampling requirements from around the world.

And when it is time to replace your fluid, Eastman is here to help with that, too. Contact a fluid specialist to learn more.
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