As fate would have it, the first article I ever worked on for Process Heating related to heat transfer fluids. “Check Your Fluid Before It Checks Production” appeared in our May/June 1995 issue, and it focused on the common tests that are performed on industrial heat transfer fluids to determine whether a fluid changeout was needed in a system. (Unfortunately, PH content published prior to 1998 was lost in the great Mac hard-drive crash of 1997. If you’d like to read “Check Your Fluid Before It Checks Production,” I’ll post a PDF to this column on our site.)

You may be thinking, if we covered heat transfer fluids in 1995, has much changed? Is there anything new to learn? Absolutely! Standards are developed and changed, and materials developments drive further equipment enhancements.

In this issue, “The Importance of Expansion and Drain Structure in Hot Oil Systems” is a prime example. The article, written by the engineering team at Sigma Thermal, explains the design principles that must be considered when designing a thermal fluid heating system. Learn key design principles for expansion tanks and the drain structure, and understand how these systems play a part of the overall thermal heating system.

This fall, Process Heating and our sister publication, Process Cooling, will present two hour-long webinars on heat transfer fluids.

On October 12 at 2 p.m. ET, Process Cooling and experts working daily with low temperature heat transfer fluids will present “Using Glycol Heat Transfer Fluids for Effective Process Cooling.” The unique collaborative event means that you can gain honest insights into low temperature heat transfer fluids and how they can best perform in your plant. During the webinar, you will:

  • Understand the regulatory needs for a given application and location.
  • Understand why the heat transfer fluid freezing point affects system operation.
  • Learn about effective corrosion control when using glycol fluids.

Glycol-based heat transfer fluids, which have low freezing points, are particularly well suited for food processing applications, breweries and wineries, and refrigerated warehouse as well as commercial applications such as supermarkets and ice rinks.

Are you struggling with these common problems related to using glycol-based fluids:

  • Overdilution of glycols, biofilm fouling and scale formation?
  • Short fluid lifetime?
  • Air entrainment and foaming?

Our speakers — Kevin Connor of Dow, Kevin Coscia of Dynalene Inc. and Alfonso Sira of Houghton Chemical — will offer key insights during this one-hour event. Register for this event at and watch it live or on demand.

On December 5 at 2 p.m. ET, Process Heating and experts working daily with mineral oil and silicone heat transfer fluids will present “An Insiders’ Guide to Fluid System Maintenance.” In the final episode of Process Heating’s heat transfer fluids webinar series, our panel goes beyond the basics to deliver practical tips from those working with heat transfer fluids every day. Learn the insiders’ tips for preventive maintenance for thermal fluid heating, including:

  • How to pipe in a nitrogen system.
  • Design elements in system filtration.
  • How to remove water and deal with water contamination.
  • How to deal with water contamination.

All of the webinars in the Process Heating heat transfer fluids series are available for on-demand viewing. To register for the December 5 event or watch past episodes, visit