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Melting a Solid to a Liquid in a Tank Without any Splash Over During Melting - Case Study

In one specific situation, Bucan was approached by a designer to work on a solution to a work hazard that has been a constant situation for this company’s team. This client has a tank of wax that they occasionally allow to solidify. Currently, when they start to re-melt the wax, they are creating a situation where the expansion of the wax around the heater causes pressure from the bottom of the tank and can splash out of the tank putting the operators at risk of injury. Re-melting with the immersion heater can prevent a hazard. The solution is to create a vertical heat path to melt the wax eliminating any pressure build-up. The most typical thought is to heat every vessel from the base to allow the heat to rise. In this particular case, due to the solidification of the material and the rapid expansion, the base of this tank should be heated at the same time as the top of the material to avoid causing the expansion from below.

Our proposal was a low watt-density tubular heater to be attached to the vertical riser pipe. The watt density was designed to prevent the heater from failing in open air, and to give enough heat to melt a vertical relieve path for the wax as it expands during melting. The heater was specifically matched to the size and height of the tank. We did not wish to take up much space in their process, so we were able to make the heater narrow and only absorb a small fraction of the workspace. We were also able to free up the lower portion of the tank by removing the base heater as this was no longer required. This was the solution; the wax was able to melt from the top to bottom at the same rate and this solved an issue that had been overlooked for many years. This approach was used to convert several other tanks with similar issues and the process was not affected in any way. 


Different approaches had been attempted in the past from radiant heat, lower wattages, larger surface area, but the customer did not have success until they approached this problem with our team and allowed an outside view of the problem. Some of the simple solutions are sometimes difficult to see when you are attached to the process each and every day. In this case Safety was an issue and Bucan definitely wanted to assist with keeping the production team safe and the process functioning in the best manner possible. 

If you have any situation that you think may benefit from an engineering review with our team, please feel free to collect the details and contact one of our sales or engineering team members to provide you with assistance with anything you feel is related to your heating process. We have a vast customer base and have been exposed to all types of custom solutions. We have a vast product offering and will be able to determine if an alternative product may be a solution for you. This could also be as simple as the designed application of the industrial Heaters you already have. Thermal transfer, watt density, and power consumption are what we deal with each and every day. We can surely offer help in any of your situations. 

Please review our website and product offerings by visiting our website and look over our products. We can tailor them to what you need, and we are open to explore creative solutions with your team.