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Steam Distributing Coils

Steam Distributing Coils

The whole idea behind the steam distributing coil is to insert an inner tube down the entire length of the outer tube. The steam is distributed down the inner tube evenly. There are holes in the inner tube that are spaced approximately 9" to 12" apart. As the steam turns to condensate (as it travels down the inner tube), the condensate is released through these holes to the outer tube. Whatever steam doesn't turn to condensate is eventually dumped out the end of the open inner tube to the outer tube.

The outer tube is "capped" with no return bends, so that the condensate under pressure has no place to go but back down the outer tube toward the manifold where the steam originally came from.

The idea behind the original design of this coil was to evenly distribute the steam and the condensate throughout the distributing coil so there are no "dead spots" or "cold spots" in the coil. After much testing, it was found that a side benefit was that this type of coil was much more difficult to freeze than the standard conventional steam coil. Hence, the name "Non-freeze" surfaced. The steam traveling down the inner tube kept the condensate traveling the opposite direction in the outer tube from freezing.

Today it's an accepted industry practice to install these coils in applications where entering air temperatures are 40°F or below. Keep in mind however, that Non-freeze coils don't freeze easily, but it's possible to freeze them under the right conditions, and it happens often.

5/8" outer tube vs. 1 " outer tube Steam Distributing:

Many companies sell and build 5/8" or 1" Non-freeze steam coils, as though they are interchangeable. Whatever is quicker or cheaper is what they use, depending on the job. We're here to tell you that there is a major difference in the construction of these coils and when you use them depends on the application.

5/8" outer-3/8" inner tube

Most Steam Distributing coils have a 5/8" outer tube with a 3/8" inner tube. This leaves a space between the tubes that is 1/4", but really this space is 1/8" on each side of the tube. From this 1/8" you must subtract the thickness of the outer tube. As you can see, there is very little space between the outer and inner tube to pass condensate back through the outer tube. 1" outer-5/8" inner Tube - Steam Distributing. The real O.D. of 1 " Steam Distributing coils is 1-1/8" with a 5/8" inner tube. As you can see, there is more than twice as much room to pass the condensate through the outer tube. The wall thickness is also .035" in lieu of .025".

Whenever you are using a lot of outside air across a Non-freeze coil, the temperature rise and the amount of B.T.U.'s becomes larger. As a result, you need more lbs. per hour of steam and you get more lbs. per hour of condensate that have to pass through the coil. If you want a high air temperature rise or you have a low entering air, then you want to use a 1" Non-freeze steam coil. If you have mostly recirculated air or need only a 30ºF or 40ºF air temperature rise, then a 5/8" Non-freeze coil is usually O.K.

The real problem here is cost. As you would expect, 1" steam coils are more expensive than 5/8", and some companies don't even build them. So, no matter what the condition, 5/8" steam coils are installed, and often they don't work. On long coils over 72" you can diagnose this problem by feeling the far end of the coil away from the manifold. If the coil feels cold, that means the condensate is trapped and blocks the steam from getting down the coil. The coil is probably the incorrect design for that application and needs to be replaced.

We are enclosing a "cut-away" of a typical same-end Steam Distributing coil so that you can easily see how they work. USA builds any kind of steam coil that you might require, so please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions.

Typical Steam Coil Application Recommended Steam Coil
Entering air above 40ºF (Reheat)
Entering air below 40ºF but a low temp. rise (Preheat)
Entering air below 40ºF
-20º to +20ºF (Preheat)
High temp. rise
Standard Steam Coil (NO INNER TUBE REQUIRED)
5/8" O.D. Steam Distributing Coil
rise w/ 3/8" inner tube
1 " O. D. Steam distributing
w/ 5/8" inner tube

Steam Distributing coils also known as non-freeze steam coils are designed for low temperature applications with entering air temps of 55 degrees or less. Surefin specializes in all aspects of design and production of your Steam Distributing coil replacement, with condensation removal being a priority.

These steam coils are designed with one header, a tube within a tube configuration, and baffles which direct the steam directly through the inner tube allowing condensation to be removed out of the outer tube. Tube and connection sizes are essential parts of the design of a distributing coil, as they limit water hammer and the freezing of tubes, providing even distributing throughout the entire coil. We can supply distributing coils with various tube wall thicknesses that are designed for optimum performance handling a large range of steam pressures.

Steam Distributing Coils

Surefin Steam Distributing coil construction is available for high and low pressure applications. We offer top quality Steam Distributing coil replacement for all industries.

Steam Distributing coil, also known as "non-freeze coils," have the tube-within-a-tube design. Our steam Distributing coil is ideal to handle steam that is being modulated and/or if the air entering the coil is below freezing.

  • Applications include preheat, boosters, reheat, duct heaters, process air and gas heaters and more.
  • All sizes, shapes, capacities, circuit patterns, fin/tube configurations.
  • Duplication of obsolete designs; custom design for new applications.
  • We match existing dimensions and performance criteria for coils presently in use.

To get a Steam Distributing price, Distributor Price or Steam Coil price CONTACT US today!


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