Lower Viscosity and Flow Control in Colder Temperatures

LOWER VISCOSITY AND FLOW CONTROLLower Viscosity

Viscosity is a complicated and sometimes confusing topic and achieving lower viscosity is a challenge during cold winter months.

VISCOSITY REDUCTION BASICS

A fluid that is viscous will be thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency.  Viscosity can be affected by friction and/or temperature.  For example, consider what happens when you need some ketchup on your burger.  If you simply invert the bottle and expect the ketchup to flow freely, you are a rookie in the sport of burger-eating.  A pro knows to shake the bottle and then to proceed with caution, because once you have decreased viscosity, due to the shaking, the ketchup can flow quite rapidly.

Now think about honey, certainly a substance that is thick, sticky and semifluid.  Simply shaking a jar of honey will not guarantee any flow.  Honey cooled in a refrigerator will have little to no flow because it has been cooled, but when warmed appropriately*, there is a viscosity reduction and honey will flow smoothly.

LOWER VISCOSITY AND TEMPERATURE

A fluid’s viscosity strongly depends on its temperature. Along with the shear rate, temperature really is the dominating influence. The higher the temperature is, the lower a substance’s viscosity is. The relationship between temperature and viscosity is inversely proportional for all liquids. A change in temperature always affects the viscosity – it depends on the substance just how much it is influenced by a temperature change. For some fluids a decrease of 1°C (1.8F) already causes a 10 % increase in viscosity.

FLUIDS REQUIRING LOWER VISCOSITY

Acetone

Automatic Transmission Fluid, Antifreeze, and Brake Fluid

Aviation Fuels

Benzene

Bunker Oil-Marine Fuel Oil

Chloroform

Crude Oil

Diesel Fuel

Ethanol

Gear Oil

Heavy Fuel Oil

Honey

Hydrofluoric Acid

Ink

Mercury

Methanol

Mollasses

Citric Acid

Paraffin Wax

Pentane

Sulfuric Acid

Tetrahydrofuran

Toluene

 

Powerblanket® Viscosity Control Solutions

Powerblanket makes it easy to lower viscosity of fluids. Powerblanket offers various ready-to-ship products, from bucket and drum heaters to ibc tote heaters. We can also produce custom solutions for most applications. If you need help with viscosity reduction, Powerblanket has you covered.

  •   Deliver safe, uniform heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning while lowering viscosity.
  •   Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures equal heat distribution.
  •   Increase the performance and efficiency of your processes—decrease viscosity.
  •   Safety certified to UL and CSA Standards. Class1 Div2 hazardous location products also available.
  •   Energy-efficient technology lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs.
  •   Decrease and prevent product waste among temperature sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations.

 

LOWER VISCOSITY

 

*Do not heat honey much above 100 degrees F (38 C) to avoid nutritional loss.

Source

“Vsicosity Tables and Viscosity Charts.” Viscopedia. 30 December 2016. http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/

 

Powerblanket® 400 Insulated Band Heater: The Better Way

 

Traditional band heaters are a mess, and by a mess we mean a safety hazard, an inefficient tool, and an unnecessary means of heating material. While old band heaters have their many limitations and setbacks, the Powerblanket 400 Insulated Band Heater does not.

 

powerblanket400-revised (1)A New Kind of Band Heater

Our primary motivation for writing this blog isn’t to disparage traditional band heaters, but we do feel it’s important to tell people about their shortcomings.  Frankly, no one should be using traditional band heaters anymore.

Perhaps many years ago, these devices were the best means for heating metal barrels and drums (and even then, you had to balance their limited benefits with their risks and inefficiencies). But nowadays, there is far better technology available to answer the same need, and it does so in a much better and safer way.

The problem with old band heaters is this: strapping an exposed, heated, band around your storage container leaves room for fire hazard and burn potential. If anything touches that band on accident, well, it’s going to wreak havoc. Depending on what it is, it could start a fire, and if it happens to be a hand, leg, or arm…you can cringe a little when imagining the result.

 

The Better Answer – The Only Answer

After talking about the woes of traditional band heaters, let us introduce you to the Powerblanket 400 Insulated Band Heater. Our insulated band heater answers the same need for heating and warming as traditional band heaters do, only ours doesn’t come with the negative side effects. To start with, our band heaters are insulated, which means you don’t have the hazard of a really hot, exposed strap. If something were to touch our insulated band heater on accident, big deal. It won’t cause a fire, and it won’t burn…and that goes for human flesh too.

Additionally, our insulated band heaters can provide integrated temperature control for the heating process, when coupled with our auxiliary controller. You can heat from low to rather high temperatures. And get this, these insulated band heaters can be used on metal and poly containers. So imagine a band heater that is safe, efficient, and versatile, and you just imagined the Powerblanket insulated band heater. No imagining is necessary though. It’s real. See for yourself.

 

Powerblanket 400 Band Heater Features:

  • Increases your heating capacity, up to 350 ° F
  • Made with a durable and safe silicone-coated, fiberglass shell
  • Provides an insulated layer to keep heat in and offer safety
  • Provides more even heat and more precise control over the heating process (when you purchase our control system)
  • High efficiency aluminum heat-spreading technology spreads heat efficiently
  • Comes in 120 V and 240 V options

 

 

Learn More

The Powerblanket® RR-80 Barrel Heater: Product Spotlight

Whether you need to maintain temperature for chemicals, food product, paint and other coatings, water, or any other temperature sensitive material, Powerblanket Barrel Heaters are the ideal solution. What’s more, if you need to keep a liquid or other solution just above room temperature, our RR-80 Barrel Heater is just the thing you need.

 

The Powerblanket® RR-80 Barrel HeaterThe Powerblanket RR-80

The Powerblanket RR-80 is the perfect heating solution for keeping your barrel storage just above room temperature. With 120 Volts and 400/800 watts, the RR-80 rapidly ramps up to a max temperature of 80° F—give or take a few degrees of normal variance. (In case you’re wondering, the fact that this blanket Rapidly Ramps up to a fixed 80° F is the reason we call it the RR-80.)

Powerblanket® Rapid Ramp technology provides an accelerated heating time that quickly raises the temperature of fluids to 80° F. This rapid ramp happens in the initial phase, while the blanket is pumping out all 800 watts of heat. Once the blanket reaches 80° F, however, it brings the power consumption down to 400 Watts (or 3.33 Amps) in order to merely maintain 80° F. You see that’s one major benefit our technology has over traditional band heaters. Most band heaters will just keep heating your product until it’s far hotter than it needs to be. And even band heaters with thermostats are less than reliable, applying heat to only a small area of a  barrel.

On the other hand, the Powerblanket® BH55RR-80 Barrel/Drum Heater allows you to safely and efficiently control the temperature of whatever you’re storing in drums or barrels. Additionally, our barrel and drum heaters work with both steel and poly containers, you can use the same unit on both types, whereas, you usually need different silicone band heaters for  different barrel types

 

Powerblanket® BH55-RR-80 Barrel Heater Benefits

  • Cinch straps ensure a tight fit
  • An ideal solution for storing polyurethane spray foam
  • Energy-efficient
  • Safe for indoor and outdoor use
  • Water-resistant
  • Works on both poly and steel containers
  • Prevents product waste by safely maintaining consistent temperatures
  • Patented heat spreading plane eliminates hot and cold spots from forming

 

Learn More

Heating and Hazardous Locations

Working in hazardous locations means you have to exercise serious caution regarding procedure, protocol, and equipment usage. What’s more, heating in hazardous locations takes all the more care and detail to make certain you aren’t adding fuel to a potential fire. This is why Powerblanket offers products certified to national safety standards.

 

CID2Class I Division 1 and Class I Division 2

We understand that hazardous location heating is nothing to take lightly. And we understand that heating products should be engineered to the highest standards of quality and safety. We’ve based our business on this simple reality and are able to customize our safe and innovative heating solutions to a myriad of industries because of it. In fact, our custom heating solutions can be designed and certified to Class I Division 1 (CID1) or Class I Division 2 (CID2) safety standards. We are certified for all four gas Groups, A, B, C, and D and up to a T4 Temperature Classification.  Many people who work in hazardous locations are familiar with these terms. For everyone else, here’s an explanation.

The classifications referenced as CID1 and CID2 regard the operation of electronic equipment in hazardous locations. CID1 is the identifier used for locations where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, mists or vapors could possibly exist under normal working conditions. This classification also covers locations where the same gases, mists or vapors may exist frequently due to repairs or maintenance in the area. It also includes potential scenarios where gases, mists or vapors could be leaked by faulty or damaged equipment.

CID2, on the other hand, represents all locations where concentrations of flammable gases and/or vapors and/or mists are present in the air under operating conditions outside of the norm. So CID1 covers areas where such hazards are normally present, and CID2 covers areas where such hazards aren’t normally present but certainly could be under abnormal circumstances. Most importantly, if a product is CID1 or CID2 certified, it means that product is safe to use in locations that are CID1 or CID2 rated hazardous locations.

Powerblanket provides products that are certified to either of these hazardous location equipment safety standards. So when it comes to heating in hazardous areas, Powerblanket is both an efficient and safe choice. In addition to these ratings, Powerblanket products are also certified to UL, and CSA standards. Our innovative approach to providing industry-specific heating solutions has helped our customers save a lot of time and resources to safeguard and increase efficiency among the assets that keep their businesses running. So whether it’s freeze protection, viscosity maintenance, curing assistance, or some other heat-related dilemma, Powerblanket can help, even if you operate in a hazardous location.

 

Learn More

The Vulnerability of Drums and Barrels

Let’s face it; drums, barrels, and other similar canisters or storage units are as versatile as Tupperware®. You can store all kinds of products in them. But there’s another fact about them that’s also worth mentioning; drums and barrels are pretty vulnerable when it comes to temperature maintenance.

 

Keeping Your Food Hot 2Barrels, Drums, and Cold Weather

Most of the time, when we store liquids or other material in drums or barrels, we do so because we intend to store a lot of it. With this reality in mind, it’s not often that you see drums and barrels sitting in the same climate-controlled spaces we live and work in. No, they’re usually left in drafty warehouses or outside. Whatever the case, drums and barrels, plus the products inside of them, are often left to the mercies of their surroundings, and that can be a real problem if their surroundings are cold.

This is especially true for metal drums or barrels. So if you’re storing temperature-sensitive materials in your drums or barrels, then you could have a real problem on your hands when cold weather rolls around…that is unless you have the proper solution in place.

 

Powerblanket® Drum and Barrel Heaters

  • Our barrel heaters work with both steel and poly containers
  • Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures good heat distribution
  • Drum warmers deliver safe heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning
  • Drum heaters design decreases and prevents product waste among temp-sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations
  • Highly energy-efficient GreenHeat Technology™ and design lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs

 

Get the White Paper

Insulated Band Heaters vs. Traditional Band Heaters

If you’ve dealt with traditional band heaters, then perhaps you have some reservations regarding the usefulness, efficiency, and safety of such a solution. If you’ve never heard of insulated band heaters, then you’re in for a treat. Here we compare the two to see who comes out on top.

 

Insulated band heatersInsulated Band Heaters vs Traditional Band Heaters

In one corner we have the long-standing, often-used traditional band heater, and in the other corner, we have the heavy-hitting, highly efficient insulated band heater. Let’s start with comparing maximum temperatures. Traditional band heaters can heat as high as 400° F, insulated band heaters, well, they can too. Here’s what that looks like:

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Heats as high as 400° F Heats as high as 400° F

 

Traditional Band Heaters: 1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 1 pt.

 

Next, we look at heating efficiency. Traditional band heaters use anywhere from 600-1200 watts of electricity to heat the material inside a barrel or drum. What’s more, a good portion of this is wasted as heat is lost to the air around the heater. Insulated band heaters, on the other hand, don’t lose as much energy to their surroundings. With insulated band heaters, much more heat is channeled into the product, and much less into the thin air.

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Wastes a lot of energy Delivers energy to the load

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 2 pt.

 

And finally, when it comes to that most important topic of safety, insulated band heaters win out here too. Traditional band heaters can be extremely hazardous. Since they’re heating as high as 400° F, this means their non-insulated, external temperature is about the same. Essentially, you have a belted band of silicone wrapped around your drum or barrel that is as hot as 400° on the surface. If something touches this on accident, it could mean fire or third-degree burns. Insulated band heaters are a lot safer. Since they’re insulated, the surface that is exposed to the user  is safe to touch.

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Hazardous (fire hazard and burn hazard) Safe to touch when installed and running

 

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 2 pt.

 

So this puts the final score of the comparison at…

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Heats as high as 400° F (1 pt.) Heats as high as 400° F (1 pt.)
Wastes a lot of energy (-1 pt.) Delivers energy to the load (2 pts.)
Hazardous (fire hazard and burn hazard) (-1 pt.) Safe to touch when installed and running. (2 pts.)

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 5 pts.

We’ll let you do the math from here.

 

 

Picture1

Powerblanket Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from UMA

If you haven’t seen this headline somewhere else on the web by now, we’re happy to tell you all about it here. Utah Manufacturers Association recently awarded Powerblanket something we’re pretty happy about. Read on to learn more about the UMA Manufacturer of the Year Award.

 

UMA AwardUMA and Manufacturer of the Year

Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA), recently awarded Powerblanket the prestigious award  of Manufacturer of the Year. This award is given annually to the Utah-based manufacturer that proves to be the most innovative contributor to their space. There’s even more to it than this, but we’ll get to that.

UMA has been around since 1905. The organization prides itself on offering the “voice of industry” in the state of Utah, and they’ve been doing so for over 107 years now. UMA has clearly been talking Utah economy for a long time, but talking isn’t all they do. UMA is a trade association, and their goal is to enhance and improve the business climate in the state. UMA doesn’t only offer insight and expertise in the business of manufacturing, but the organization also has considerable experience in the legislative processes of state government. This is how they can do so much to vie for the interests of Utah businesses and the overall economic prosperity of the state.

UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Award embodies the mission of UMA in multiple ways. By awarding the company that not only proves innovative in their respective markets, but also offers leadership in their industry, UMA’s award encourages and rewards the same idealism by which their organization operates. Powerblanket was chosen to receive this award for 2015, based on the embodiment of these characteristics and more. In fact, why don’t we just give it to you in their own words. According to UMA, Powerblanket received the award “for their outstanding performance in operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

Powerblanket is honored to receive such accolades from a high quality establishment like UMA. The credibility of UMA and the Manufacturer of the Year Award lends a great addition to our own image and ethos as a company devoted to “operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

So, from all of us here at Powerblanket, thank you, UMA for this great privilege.

 


Learn More

The Perfect Candle Wax Heater

In the wax industry, heating applications aren’t used merely for freeze protection. In fact, more often than not, the most valuable aspect of a good candle wax heater is the ability it has to enable proper viscosity maintenance.

 

The Perfect Candle Wax Heater

Viscosity and Its Challenges

When it comes to storing large amounts of wax in barrels or drums, vats or large baths, there is one matter that is of considerable importance and warrants plenty of time and attention. The matter we’re talking about is viscosity maintenance. Heating wax during manufacturing processes is essential for molding and purification. Though there are different stages of wax heating, it is important that the wax remain at certain levels of viscosity for reasons of workability.

Imagine the ease of use that could be created from a solution that would keep your candle wax at the proper viscosity both in storage and during manufacturing. Of all the wax heaters on the market, there are few, if any others at all, that can do what the Powerblanket® solution can do.

Powerblanket custom heating solutions enable equal and efficient heat distribution throughout the entirety of the application. In addition to this, Powerblanket heating blankets are equipped with thermostatic controls that allow you to set the proper temperature and walk away. There’s no need to babysit the heating process. With easy installation and simplified use, our heating solutions make viscosity maintenance a snap.

 

Product Use Case- Drum and Barrel Heaters for Viscosity Maintenance

Standout Features of Powerblanket Drum Heaters

  • Works with both steel and poly containers
  • Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures equal heat distribution
  • Delivers safe, uniform heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning
  • Design decreases and prevents product waste among temp-sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations
  • Highly energy-efficient GreenHeat Technology™ and design lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs

 

Download product catalog

A Drum Blanket Done Right

Of all the heating devices out there for the protection of drums and barrels, there’s one drum blanket that’s done right. With even heat distribution and temperature regulation, Powerblanket has a solution fit for any occasion.

 

A Drum Blanket Done Right

The Powerblanket Difference

Storing materials in drums is a simple idea. They hold a lot and offer a durable storage structure for liquids, chemicals, food product, and so much more. However, when it comes time for temperature regulation, they don’t provide any capabilities on their own. For this reason, some manufacturers have created elaborate insulation blankets to ward off the effect of cold temperatures. As much as these insulation blankets may seem to be a good idea, or as much as they might be able to help with a mild difference in temperature, they can’t adequately protect against extreme winter cold.

In addition to inadequately protecting your materials against savage cold, traditional insulation blankets also lack the ability to bring material to working temperature. Take, for example, the need for bringing certain types of product to temperatures above the ambient air around it. A typical insulation blanket has no way to accommodate this.

However, Powerblanket has created a drum blanket that can work in a myriad of applications. It can protect your most temperature-sensitive products against the coldest cold. What’s more, the Powerblanket drum heater also has the ability to bring your product up to working temperatures. With a thermostatic controller and innovative heat-spreading technology, you can wrap your drum and forget about it.

The ability to automate your freeze protection is a huge benefit once the cold weather rolls around, and the capability of bringing liquids and other products to higher temperatures for viscosity maintenance, chemical-property enablement, or characteristic integrity is of equal importance. So whether you need a drum blanket for insulation, temperature regulation, or a combination of the two, Powerblanket is the clear answer.

 

Download Product Spec Sheet two lines

Winter Preparation: Now’s the Time

As the temperatures around the nation rise into the hundreds, cold-weather preparation may be the furthest thing from your mind. What’s more, there are plenty of warm-weather applications that Powerblanket technology is used for. But we would be completely remiss if we didn’t say enough of proper winter preparation. After all, when it comes to preparing for winter, you don’t want to be a grasshopper…

 

Winter Preparation- Now’s the Time

Aesop’s Fable: The Ant and the Grasshopper

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the old fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper from Aesop. If you’re not (and even if you are) we’ve recited it here. Below follows the most popular English renditions of the story:

“In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

‘Why not come and chat with me,’ said the Grasshopper, ‘instead of toiling and moiling in that way?’

‘I am helping to lay up food for the winter,’ said the Ant, ‘and recommend you to do the same.’

‘Why bother about winter?’ said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.’ But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came, the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew it is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

Of course, the implications of this story can go far deeper than the need for good winter preparation. But for the sake of comparison, the story’s plot is rather poignant for the industries we serve. When cold weather does hit, it’s best to already have the systems and products you need in place to brave the effects of winter. So if you have assets to cover come late October, now’s the best time to start getting together the protection you’ll need.

 

Download product catalog