Modular plastic cooling towers facilitate increased manufacturing capacity

Industrial Systems: Galvanized or Plastic?

Cooling towers, which reduce the heat of circulating water used to cool industrial processes and HVAC systems throughout the world, have undergone substantial design changes over the years. This is particularly noticeable with the introduction of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cooling towers, which can provide long service life with reduced maintenance requirements.

While these attributes are compelling, the idea of incorporating this technology to increase production capacity is, for many, an unexpected benefit of the HDPE cooling tower technology.

An example of this capacity benefit occurred when Tencarva Machinery was asked by Strand-Tech Martin, a manufacturer of prestressed concrete strand and high-carbon wire, to evaluate a galvanized cooling tower that had required extensive service over its lifespan.

Tencarva Machinery is a distributor of liquid process equipment and custom-engineered systems, most of which incorporate pumping packages and electrical controls. The company serves industrial and municipal markets in the Southeast.

“Our inspection made it clear that the existing cooling tower, a typical galvanized model, was beyond practical repair,” said Chad Plott of Tencarva. Plott explained the main problem was a destructive, corrosive effect on the metal-clad shell produced by salt air that permeates coastal areas such as Charleston, S.C., where Strand-Tech Martin’s manufacturing plant is located.

The process used to produce the prestressed concrete strand and high-carbon wire products requires a cooling tower for the wire-drawing machines, which run at high temperatures.

“They were barely getting enough cooling from the old tower, and really wanted a cooling tower that would allow them to expand the number of machines they run,” Plott said.

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