Engineering ToolBox - Resources, Tools and Basic Information for Engineering and Design of Technical Applications!

Heat Exchangers - Fouling and Reduced Heat Transfer

Heat-transfer in heat exchangers are reduced by fouling.

During operation with liquids and gases a dirt film may build up on the heat exchanger surfaces . The deposit film is referred to as fouling

Increased thermal resistance caused by the deposit can normally only be obtained from tests or experience. The fouling factor can be determined as

Rd = 1 / Ud - 1 / U                            (1)


Rd = fouling factor - or unit thermal resistance of deposit (m2K/W)

Ud = overall heat transfer coefficient of heat exchanger after fouling (W/m2K)

U = overall heat transfer coefficient of clean heat exchanger (W/m2K)

(1) can also be expressed as:

Ud  = 1 / (Rd + 1 / U)

Typical Fouling Factors

  • Alcohol vapors : Rd = 0.00009 (m2K/W)
  • Boiler feed water, treated above 325 K : Rd = 0.0002 (m2K/W)
  • Fuel oil : Rd = 0.0009 (m2K/W)
  • Industrial air : Rd = 0.0004 (m2K/W)
  • Quenching oil : Rd = 0.0007 (m2K/W)
  • Refrigerating liquid : Rd = 0.0002 (m2K/W)
  • Seawater below 325 K : Rd = 0.00009 (m2K/W)
  • Seawater above 325 K : Rd = 0.0002 (m2K/W)
  • Steam : Rd = 0.00009 (m2K/W)

Related Topics

Related Documents


Search is the most efficient way to navigate the Engineering ToolBox.

Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - Online 3D modeling!

3D Engineering ToolBox Extension to SketchUp - add parametric components to your SketchUp model

Add standard and customized parametric components - like flange beams, lumbers, piping, stairs and more - to your Sketchup model with the Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - enabled for use with older versions of the amazing SketchUp Make and the newer "up to date" SketchUp Pro . Add the Engineering ToolBox extension to your SketchUp Make/Pro from the Extension Warehouse !

Translate this Page

Translate this page to Your Own Language .

About the Engineering ToolBox!

Privacy Policy

We don't collect information from our users. More about

We use a third-party to provide monetization technologies for our site. You can review their privacy and cookie policy here.

You can change your privacy settings by clicking the following button: .


This page can be cited as

  • The Engineering ToolBox (2010). Heat Exchangers - Fouling and Reduced Heat Transfer. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Month Year].

Modify the access date according your visit.

3D Engineering ToolBox - draw and model technical applications! 2D Engineering ToolBox - create and share online diagram drawing templates! Engineering ToolBox Apps - mobile online and offline engineering applications!

Unit Converter