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Heat Transfer Fluid

When mechanical processes occur, heat is generated as components work. If this heat exceeds certain parameters, it can cause damage to machine parts, impacting productivity and costing companies in repairs. In extreme cases, it can even present a danger to machine operators and work environments. As a result, lubricants called heat transfer fluids were devised which can subtract heat during intense work to keep process areas within ideal operating temperatures.

However, heat transfer fluids can be far more useful than simply protecting machine parts. Avoiding waste, the heat energy transferred can also be used in other areas where it is required for instance suppling warmth to a building’s central heating system. Heat transfer fluids are also used as a coolant in common mechanical systems. Water, for instance, is the heat transfer fluid which is used to cool down a truck’s engine.

Our Heat Transfer Fluids


Heat transfer fluids and their role

Heat transfer fluids are specifically engineered to transport thermal energy between locations in the most efficient way possible. As touched upon earlier, depending on the application, a heat transfer fluid may be deployed to either heat up or cool down an entire system, or as part of a system during an industrial process or other application.

What are the different types of heat transfer fluid?

There are diverse range of options available for those seeking a suitable heat transfer fluid for their system. The following are some of the most used solutions and their associated benefits.


Both affordable and entirely nontoxic, whenever possible enterprises will use water as their dedicated heat transfer fluid. With an extremely low viscosity and high specific heat, water promotes easy pumping. However, the downside of water is its limitations. It has what is considered relatively a low boiling point and provides no protection from the issue of freezing. Furthermore, it can be corrosive when its acidity and alkalinity level is incorrectly maintained to remain at neutral level. Finally, water that has a higher mineral content, commonly referred to as “hard water”, can result in mineral deposits forming in both system plumbing and collector tubing networks.


Non-corrosive in nature, as a heat transfer solution air will neither boil nor freeze. As a result, it is frequently employed with heat pipes, finned heat sinks, and PCB spreading techniques in electronics, augmenting a cooling area. However, like water, air also has limits and possesses an exceptionally low heat capacity. As a result, it needs a large-scale heat exchangers to warm the water. It also has a habit of leaking from various system points that lack appropriate insulation including collectors, dampers, and ducts, making it less effective.

Mixtures of Propylene glycol and water

Another heat transfer fluid is a Propylene glycol and water mixture. These fluids use a ratio of 50 per cent glycol and 50 per cent water. However, this ration may be lower or higher to suit different freeze hazards for specific applications and operating environments. Ethylene Glycol must never be utilised because of its toxicity. Consequently, Propylene Glycol, which is non-toxic, is employed instead in heat transfer fluids. These mixtures deliver effective freeze protection providing that the precise and correct antifreeze concentration is effectively maintained.

Over time, antifreeze fluids will start to deteriorate. To maintain operational efficiency, experts agree that they should typically be changed every three to five years. These specific types of systems are pressurised and must only ever be serviced by a certified professional. Corrosion inhibitors may be added to mitigate corrosion by delivering some reserve alkalinity that can effectively any counter corrosive acids present.

Silicon Fluids

Silicone fluids are another type of heat transfer fluid. These solutions have an incredibly low freezing point, but also an exceptionally high boiling point, offering great range to operators. They are also noncorrosive and have a long active service life. However, as silicones offer low heat capacities and high viscosity, they typically require greater energy to pump. Another downside of silicones as a heat transfer fluid is that they tend to leak easily.

Other heat transfer fluids

There are many other types of heat transfer fluids in use today. These include mineral, aromatic, and synthetic hydrocarbon fluids, but also dedicated refrigerants like those found utilised in heat-pump systems, ammonia and methyl alcohol. A number of these heat transfer fluids are flammable, toxic and highly regulated. Many involve specific environmental impacts, but still have industrial uses in a range of sectors.

To ensure that your on-site equipment continues functioning at maximum capacity, locating the best heat transfer fluid for an application or system is vital. Always consult your original equipment manufacturer’s recommendation before purchasing a product.

For high-quality heat transfer fluids from leading manufacturers, you can count on Oil Store. To order fluids or find out further details about a specific product, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.