Pulp & Paper Operations Are Turning to the Engineered-Plastic Cooling Tower

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Engineered-plastic cooling towers are being used to increase up-time, improve cooling efficiency and reduce maintenance.

Without a fail-safe and efficient cooling tower, multi-million dollar pulp and paper operations would have unscheduled maintenance shutdowns with unrecoverable production losses and delayed shipments.

Plastic towers are increasingly finding favor with pulp and paper plant engineers because they offer an assortment of benefits: they are non-corroding in an industry that uses vast amounts of harsh chemicals and cleaning materials, they offer increased cooling capacity, are lightweight, require no coatings, are immune to ambient weather conditions and are essentially leak-proof.

Here are some important points to consider when you are about to repair, replace or purchase a new cooling tower system for your pulp or paper plant:

1. Life expectancy

Engineered molded plastic towers are one-piece, so there are no problems with seams, welds, and patches that wear prematurely. Competitive in price, engineered plastic towers are also rust- and corrosion-proof. Those manufactured by Delta Cooling Towers (Rockaway, NJ), for example, are rotary-cast with a single or double-wall UV-protective, polyethylene shell that is virtually impervious to weather conditions and harsh environmental elements.

The warranty on an engineered plastic cooling tower is indicative of its durability. The casings on the towers offered by these towers are backed by a comprehensive 15-year warranty.

2. Flexible modular design

In the past, plastic towers were too small for many industrial processes. For that reason, galvanized metal towers were traditionally a "given" for most applications above 250 tons. Processors requiring high-capacity cooling were forced to build custom-designed towers on site, often at a high cost in labor and materials.

Today that situation has changed dramatically. Delta, for instance, has introduced its TM Series® of factory-assembled plastic towers that can be combined to provide up to 2,000 cooling tons in a single, modularized unit. Modular towers also facilitate the use of an extra margin of cooling capacity that can be advantageous in adjusting to operational heat load or outflow changes, or in upgrading to meet future cooling requirements.

3. Continuous, more economical operation

Engineered plastic can also reduce the expected and untoward consequences of operating a cooling tower, which include: electric power usage, water-treatment chemicals, labor and materials for maintenance and unscheduled process downtime for cooling repairs.

Maintenance and repairs usually means process interruptions, the costliest of all problems related to cooling towers. Given their short lifespan, metal-lined models inevitably invite such breaches in operations, while corrosion-, rust- and leak-proof plastic towers are more likely to provide continuous and reliable operation with few if any disruptions.

4. Easier installation

The inherent design advantages of the latest plastic cooling tower also include easier installation (especially on rooftops) because a lightweight plastic shell weighs as much as 40 percent less than a steel tower, while being 5-10 times thicker. When modular cooling towers are combined in a cluster, installation is often faster and easier. For applications that require mounting flexibility, Delta pioneered an induced-draft, counter-flow design that incorporates I-beam "pockets" in the tower basin for reinforcement, so that a plastic tower can be easily mounted on standard I-beams or imperfect concrete pads.

For more information, contact John Flaherty at Delta Cooling Towers, Inc., 41 Pine Street, Rockaway, NJ 07866; Phone (800) BUY.DELTA (289.3358); Fax 973.586.2243; or visit the web site: http://www.deltacooling.com

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