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    Water Quality & Glycol Systems 

    Daniel Cohen 
    Market Developer - Dow Glycol Heat Transfer Fluids 
    October 2020
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Is Water Quality Important in a Glycol-based System? 

Unlike what some popular science fiction movies have taught us, the impurities found within water are not a good thing – at least when it comes to thermal fluids.  This fact is inherently true in any glycol-based heat transfer system, water quality matters.  Overall performance, fluid stability and system integrity are all affected by the quality of the dilution water being used. 

In exceptionally hard water, most industrially inhibited glycol concentrates available on the market will react with these impurities.  The inhibitors will be attracted to and react with the ions and eventually fall out of solution, effectively removing the corrosion protection needed within the system.

Why Should I Use a Dow Glycol Fluid?

Dow has studied and tested thousands of samples of their glycol fluids in a wide range of different water types, hardness levels and added impurities.  They have re-engineered key DOWTHERM™ and DOWFROST™ grades with a patented additive to counteract the damaging effects of hard water and ensure long term fluid stability and corrosion prevention.  The following grades contain this patented additive under U.S. patent 5,766,506 assigned to The Dow Chemical Company. However, there can be other impurities and contaminants present in hard water such as chlorides and sulfates.  These can react poorly with the glycol fluids and lead to by-products and degradation of the fluid. It is still recommended to use de-ionized of demineralized water for heat transfer systems to prevent these reactions. 

    What Quality of Water Should be Used to Dilute DOWFROST™?

    Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance - The best way to avoid the issues caused by poor water is to start with a high-quality water, free of troublesome salts, ions and impurities.  The table to the right details the maximum levels of these compounds for a system to function without issue. For any system fill, it is important to take into account any remaining flush water and the quality of the remainder in the system.
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