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Protected HVAC Components in Corrosive Environments

Posted by: Robert Cave on Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Unprotected Coil

Unprotected HVAC heat exchangers, radiators, condensing unit coils and fans exposed to salt air, corrosives or acid rain will begin to oxidize within the first few months of operation. Corrosive attack typically starts at the copper tube-aluminum fin interface on the coil design and at the header extrusion connection causing thermal performance to decline swiftly. Performance decreases of up to 30% within 6 months are not unusual.

Coil coating is one method employed to counter the effects of oxidations of HVAC equipment exposed to corrosive environments. Some coating processes are manually dipped or sprayed without the guarantee of complete and uniform coverage. Electro-coating emersion of these HVAC devices produces a thin film with a uniform thickness that penetrates deep, covers edges and up to 30 fins per inch without bridging. The benefits of electro-coating on rooftop HVAC coils and other mechanical devices include filling cracks and not varying in application thickness regardless of component size or configuration.

Any HVAC component exposed to a corrosive environment is a likely candidate for some coating process. Each engineer should consider the best application for the equipment protection based on the conditions within which the material is installed.