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The scale of the PROBLEM

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The issue of scale build up is an ongoing battle in mining.

And considering the materials that miners use, it is no surprise operators will see a build-up and eventual hardening of these materials into scale deposits - reducing the flow within the pipes.

The cost of unplanned shutdown due to scaling has the potential to become a catastrophic event in operations, which in turn sees engineers and operators tend to overfeed anti-scaling chemicals or schedule more physical cleaning of pipes than is necessary - wasting time and money.

With this in mind Flowrox has developed new technology to proactively manage maintenance of scale build-up, cutting the potential for unexpected shutdowns or costly damage repairs. 

The Flowrox Scaling Watch is "a wafer thin piece of pipeline engineered for the insertion between two flanges for a precise fit that allows the detection of scale," the company says.

"It uses Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT) technology, which allows operators to see inside piping systems without having to halt media flow and open up the pipeline.  

It also enables 3D imaging and measurement of non-conductive media inside process pipelines and tanks.

"In addition, it utilises a patented algorithm that creates a 3D image of the process fluid in the piping and generates trend data as well as showing free volume inside the pipe and the growth rate of the scale over time."

Flowrox Scaling Watch is able to show the scale thickness, scale profile, growth rates over time, its composition, and free flow volume, allowing engineers to better understand the operational areas  of the piping system that are prone to scaling.

"The Flowrox Scaling Watch is a predictive device - rather than reactive - and allows its operators to address scale issues before they reach critical levels that can cause downtime or costly damage," the company stated. 

It is manufactured in carbon steel, type 316/316L stainless steel, and titanium to meet the needs of industries with intense scaling issues - such as mining - that can result in high maintenance costs. 

However, it is not designed to detect scale across the entire piping system, only measuring heavy scaling in the spot where it is installed. 

"This is completely new technology," Flowrox's president of North American operations, Todd Loudin, said. 

"The Flowrox Scaling Watch can model mathematically the scale build-up and also provide calculations on the free available pipe remaining." 

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