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  • What are CO2 freeze-ups and how can they be prevented?

    Posted on February 11th, 2016 admin No comments

    When a pressure regulator becomes blocked with dry ice (solid form of carbon dioxide), it restricts the flow of gas through the regulator or other pressure control valve and causes a “freeze-up.” A freeze-up occurs when high pressure CO2 gas expands in a regulator or other pressure valve, and the delivery pressure is below 60 psig. Solid CO2 cannot form at pressures above 60 psig (the mixture is gas and liquid), but when the gas undergoes a drop to a delivery pressure below 60 psig, it emerges as a mixture of gas and snow (solid CO2).

    If you have an unheated regulator operating at delivery pressures below 60 psig, it is subject to a freeze-up. But if you have a compressed gas regulator that operates over a range of delivery pressures above and below 60 psig, the chance for freeze-ups is less likely because it prevents solid CO2 particles from building up and clogging a regulator. That’s where CalCo Controls’ heaters come in.

    CalCo Controls automatic electric heaters for compressed gases are recommended where conditions or flow rates may tend to cause equipment freeze-ups. Heaters are thermostatically controlled and can flow gas in either direction. The Model CC-120 is suitable for flow rates up to 160 SCFH, and the Model CC-1000 is appropriate for flow rates up to 1000 SCFH.

    The Model CC-120 Gas Heater is designed with flexibility in mind. With the addition of optional fittings, the heater can be put to use heading a variety of gases. Between the cylinder valve and a suitable regulator, the heater warms the gas stream allowing for flow rates up to 160 SCFH without regulator freeze-up. The gas heater is thermostatically controlled at 160°F to prevent overheating of the gas.

    The Model CC-1000 Gas Heater prevents regulator freeze-up when using compressed gases. The unit is thermostatically controlled and has patented double protection against thermal or electrical overload. The Model CC-1000 has continuous high-pressure tubing (no internal joints) and working pressures up to 4600 psi. The heavily insulated cabinet remains cool and the unit can be left on even under no-flow conditions. Flow can be in either direction without loss of efficiency, C.S.A. Approved.

    Contact CalCo Controls to learn more about our thermostatically controlled gas heaters that prevent equipment freeze-ups from occurring.