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The Effect of Hydropath Technology on Silicates

This is a brief description on the effect that Hydroflow has on Silicates, and particular the difference between this and the effect on calcium carbonate.

To summarize, Hydroflow will both prevent new Calcium Carbonate scale from forming on the pipe, and also remove existing Calcium Carbonate scale. Hydroflow will also prevent Silicate-based scale from forming on the pipe, but cannot remove existing scale.

Prevention of New Scale:

Scaling in pipes can be due to a range of different compounds. One of the most common of these is Calcium Carbonate (Limescale) but there are a range of others. One such family is the Silicates, (compounds containing silicon rather than carbon). In both cases, the minerals are in a dissolved form in the water as positively and negatively charged ions. Hydroflow technology acts to create clusters of ions. These clusters are groups of dissolved ions that are still in solution but nevertheless have some structure, and act as precursors to crystals. This means that when the water becomes supersaturated, the clusters act as “starting points,” and the crystals form in suspension in the water, rather than as hard “scale” on the surface of pipes and equipment. This process is based on the ionic nature of the crystals, and therefore this effect applies to any scale formed from ionic crystals. Hydroflow can prevent the pipes scaling due to any type of ionic crystals, including Carbonate Scaling and Silicate Scaling.

Removal of Existing Scale:

When dissolved calcium and bicarbonate ions come out of solution and crystallize, they release carbon dioxide into the water. This makes the water able to dissolve the existing Calcium Carbonate scale. This release does not occur with silicate-based compounds and therefore Hydroflow cannot remove existing silicate scale.

Combined Silicate and Carbonate Scale

In practice, the scale in many systems is formed by a combination of both carbonate and silicate scale. This means that what often happens in practice is that the silicate scale is formed in a matrix of carbonate scale. Therefore removing the carbonate scale can sometime remove the silicate scale. However, whether this happens or not depends on a range of factors, including the relative amounts of carbonates and silicates, the rate of deposition etc. For this reason, although we can in practices remove combined silicate-carbonate scale, we cannot guarantee this.


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