Industrial Manufacturing

Heat transfer fluid for industrial manufacturing

A variety of industrial manufacturing applications require heat transfer for heating and cooling processes. Manufacturers must select the correct fluid and take the time to properly maintain the heat transfer fluid and system to optimise production.

Industrial laundries, asphalt plants and engineered wood applications are a handful of the sectors that require heat transfer systems.

The construction industry requires a variety of engineered materials for house building and other applications. These materials, particularly medium density fibre (MDF), panelling and plywood require heat transfer during production.

The wood manufacturing process uses compressed strips of wood bonded with wax and resin adhesives which are heat pressed in a thermal fluid system. The heat from the thermal fluid system cures the wood and the adhesive by heat activation at high temperatures. The heat transfer fluid is an important part of this process because safety, maintenance, and output are vital considerations in large applications.


Traditionally, industrial laundry companies used water to heat dryers, irons and other laundry equipment. However, high-pressure steam requires more frequent maintenance which can be costly and increases system downtime. The high pressure required to operate a steam system at the correct temperature also presents a greater risk to the safety of workers in the facility.

Heat transfer fluids can be used in industrial laundry applications instead of water as it will not emit steam, making the facility safer for workers. Engineers should choose a fluid that can maintain high temperatures for extended periods to ensure the process operates consistently and efficiently.

Fluid choice is vital in marine applications as engineers must make sure the system is well maintained and safe as, if a problem were to occur in a remote location, it would be more difficult to respond to.

Manufacturers can use a heat transfer fluid system to maintain asphalt (often referred to as bitumen) at a specific temperature during storage and delivery. The fluid must be able to operate at specific temperatures for long periods of time to keep asphalt at the right temperature and consistency.

Industrial heating and cooling requires a specific heat transfer fluid that can work at specific temperatures for prolonged periods of time. Manufacturers should also look at thermal fluid that performs well at a range of temperatures, so that is can be used in both heating and cooling processes if the application process demands it.

As part of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR), employers must carry out regular assessments on the fire and explosion risks of any work activities involving dangerous substances, including thermal fluid and synthetics.

In order to comply with DSEAR and provide a safe working environment for all employees, manufacturers should ensure that risk is managed, their site is always safe, and staff are knowledgeable on operating heat transfer systems.

Choosing the wrong heat transfer fluid can cause unplanned downtime. Fluid degradation can occur when a fluid is heated above its maximum bulk temperature. When heated above its temperature, molecules will form and cause thermal cracking that reduces the viscosity, flash point and ignition temperature of the fluid.

Once a fluid has degraded it may impact production or stop it all together. At this point, manufacturers must flush, clean and refill the system with new fluid, which can be costly.

According to a study by Oneserve found that downtime costs UK manufacturers around £180 billion a year. Manufacturers can avoid unnecessary downtime by investing in a thermal fluid that can operate at the temperature range required and proactively monitoring and managing the fluid.

This high performing and energy efficient heat transfer fluid is useful for a range of industrial applications that require consistent operating temperatures. Globaltherm® M has excellent oxidation and thermal stability to ensure manufacturers can use the fluid at high temperature for extended periods.

This is a high performance, fortified mineral based heat transfer oil that contains a highly resilient blend of additives. It is used for operating at bulk temperatures ranging between -7 degrees Celsius and 320 degrees Celsius, in both open and closed circulation.

Globaltherm® MXT is non-toxic and non-corrosive and is resistant to the oxidation, thermal cracking and sludging found in many industrial process applications, such as wood, paper and textiles manufacturing.

This is a superior, high performance and energy efficient liquid and vapour phase thermal oil. It is suitable for applications that require a wide temperature range for heating and cooling processes.

Manufacturers should use Globaltherm J if they require excellent thermal stability to protect against accidental overheating.

This high performance, high temperature thermal fluid is one of the most popular in our range of fluids.

Globaltherm® Syntec is designed for liquid phase heat transfer and is suitable for operation up to 345 degrees Celsius.

This high-performance fluid is recommended for use in closed loop, non-pressurised heat transfer system.

Globaltherm S is non-corrosive, can be used in non-pressured heat transfer systems and is thermally stable up to 300 degrees Celsius.

All thermal fluids will degrade over time because they operate at such high temperatures. At these operating temperatures, the bonds that exist between hydrocarbon chains will start to break and form shorter (commonly referred to as ‘light-ends’) and longer chained hydrocarbons (‘heavy-ends’).

The build-up of light-end components is a potential fire risk because they decrease the ignition temperature of the HTF. The accumulation of heavy-ends results in the formation of sticky carbon deposits or sludge and can be monitored by analysing the carbon residue levels in a system operating with thermal fluid.

Fluid degradation can impact the heat transfer system in many ways. Without proactive fluid sampling, there can be a carbon or acid build up in the system, which can lead to a lack of flow or hotspots. Carbon is a natural insulator, so you can encounter problems with uneven heat transfer that impacts production efficiency and increases energy costs.

Manufacturers should implement a preventative maintenance programme to extend the lifespan of the thermal fluid and prevent downtime. Manufacturers should complete regular visual checks and quarterly fluid sampling to determine the condition of the fluid.

Maintenance engineers should take a hot, closed sample of the fluid to get a representative sample and gain an understanding of what is happening to the fluid inside the system.

As well as the fluid, it is important to regularly inspect the entire heat transfer system to check the condition of the pipework, flanged joints, gaskets and seals in the heat transfer system.

Problems with the pipework may cause the system to leak, which is not only dangerous for the engineers working on site, but it also means that oxygen can enter, making the fluid susceptible to degradation and potentially fire, in the event of an ignition source.

Maintenance engineers should also check the pressure gauges to ensure that they are giving accurate readings and ensure there is no wear or tear on the insulation surrounding the system.

Where can I get help?

We can help you create the right programme for your plant. We provide a condition based thermal fluid lifecycle maintenance programme, Thermocare, where our experts will work with you to improve accuracy when monitoring fluid condition, organise maintenance schedules and train staff at the facility.

We can also provide on-site and telephone support for plant engineers to help maintain production and keep the system running efficiently.

Global Heat Transfer has 25 years of expertise from working with industrial manufacturing engineers. If you want help optimising your heat transfer system call us on +44 (0)1785 760555 for more information

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A superior high performance energy efficient heat transfer fluid suitable for use in all kinds of industrial processes.

About Globaltherm® M

Made from highly refined base stocks, Globaltherm® M thermal fluid has excellent thermal and oxidation stability allowing operation at high temperatures for extended periods.

The fluid also has efficient thermal conductivity and low viscosity, at the relevant operating temperatures, ensure high heat transfer rates requiring limited pumping energy.

Globaltherm® M heat transfer fluid provides:

  • low vapour pressures at elevated temperatures
  • greatly reduced evaporation
  • vapour lock and cavitation eliminating the need for high pressure piping and equipment

Used fluid may be disposed of through a number of environmentally acceptable methods such as used oil recycling or heavy fuels burning.

Find out more about the properties of Globaltherm® M

ProductOperating Temperature208 Litre barrelBulk25 Litre1050 Litre IBC
Globaltherm® M (-10°C – 320°C)-10°C to 320°C

Contact us for more information on high temperature thermal oils

We provide advice on how to choose the most appropriate oil for your heat transfer applications and provide our customers with continued technical support.

Call us on +44 (0)1785 760555 for more information


Globaltherm® J Heat transfer fluid is a superior high performance, energy efficient heat transfer fluid suitable for use in all kinds of industrial processes.

About Globaltherm® J

  • This high performance heat transfer fluid is a mixture of isomers of an alkylated aromatic specially engineered for demanding low-temperature applications in liquid phase pressurised systems.
  • Globaltherm® J Heat transfer fluid is a heat transfer agent suitable for applications requiring single fluid heating and cooling.
  • This fluid is recommended for use in a temperature range from <-80°C (-112°F) up to a maximum bulk temperature of 315°C (600°F) in the liquid phase.
  • This heat transfer fluid can also be used in vapour phase systems operating from 181°C to 315°C (358°F - 600°F).
  • This heat transfer fluid offers outstanding low-temperature pumpability and excellent thermal stability for protection against accidental overheating.
ProductOperating TemperatureBulk176kg barrel
Globaltherm® J (-80°C – 315°C)-80°C to 315°C

Globaltherm® J properties

Contact us for more information on high temperature thermal oils

We provide advice on how to choose the most appropriate oil for your heat transfer applications and provide our customers with continued technical support.

Call us on +44 (0)1785 760555 for more information