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The working principle, advantages, disadvantages and applications of once-through steam boilers

A continuous flow steam boiler is a highly efficient heat exchanger commonly used in industrial and commercial applications. The working principle of this boiler is to heat water to generate steam, which is then piped to the equipment that needs to be heated. The following is a detailed introduction to the working principle, advantages and disadvantages, and applications of continuous flow steam boilers.

working principle

The working principle of a once-through steam boiler is to heat water to generate steam, which is then transported through pipes to the equipment that needs to be heated. The water passes through a device called a heat exchanger, where it is heated and turned into steam. Steam flows in the tubes of a once-through steam boiler and is transported through the tubes to the equipment that needs to be heated, where it releases heat. The cooled steam then returns to the once-through steam boiler to be reheated for the next cycle.

Zhuangding cross-flow steam boiler
once-through steam boiler

Advantages A cronce-through steam boiler has the following advantages:

  1. High efficiency: The through-flow steam boiler uses heat recovery technology to recover and reuse the heat energy in the exhaust gas, making the fuel energy utilization rate higher and the energy consumption less.

  2. Energy saving and environmental protection: Since the through-flow steam boiler has a high thermal efficiency, its use can reduce fuel consumption and thus reduce environmental pollution.

  3. Stable quality: once-through flow steam boilers can automatically adjust multiple parameters such as steam pressure, water level, flue gas temperature, etc. to ensure stable steam quality.

  4. Easy operation: The operation of the once-through steam boiler is relatively simple. You only need to input the required basic parameters such as pressure and temperature to achieve automated operation.

  5. Easy maintenance: The once-through steam boiler has a simple structure and is relatively convenient to maintain. It only requires regular inspection and maintenance.

  6. High steam quality: once-through steam boilers add chemicals to the water to remove impurities in the water, making the steam quality higher.

  7. Save space: The once-through steam boiler is compact and takes up less space during installation, which can effectively save space.

  8. High production efficiency: The once-through steam boiler can quickly generate a large amount of steam and improve production efficiency.

  9. High reliability: once-through flow steam boilers are usually made of high-quality materials, so they have high reliability and can operate stably for a long time.

  10. High safety: The once-through steam boiler has multiple safety protection devices to ensure safety during use.


Application areas once-through steam boilers are widely used in the following industries:

  1. Power Plants: once-through steam boilers are one of the most common boiler types in power plants and are used to generate electricity.

  2. Petrochemical: once-through steam boilers are widely used in the petrochemical industry for the production of petroleum products and chemicals.

  3. Steel industry: once-through steam boilers are also widely used in metallurgical processes in the steel industry.

  4. Textile industry: once-through steam boilers are used in textile, printing and dyeing and other processes in the textile industry.

  5. Food processing: once-through steam boilers are used for food processing, such as bread, biscuits, meat, dairy products, etc.

  6. Chemical Industry: once-through steam boilers are used in the chemical industry for the production of various chemicals.

  7. Rubber industry: once-through steam boilers are used to produce rubber products, such as tires, rubber tubes, rubber mats, etc.

  8. Plastic industry: once-through steam boilers are used to produce various plastic products.

  9. Papermaking industry: once-through steam boilers are used for cooking, drying, heating and other processes in the papermaking industry.

  10. Electronics industry: once-through steam boilers are used in cleaning, etching, electroplating and other processes in the electronics industry.

  11. Stone processing: once-through steam boilers are used in casting, smelting and other processes in the stone processing industry.

  12. Automotive industry: once-through flow steam boilers are used in drying, heat treatment and other processes in the automotive industry.

  13. Printing industry: once-through steam boilers are used for printing, hot stamping and other processes in the printing industry.

  14. Lighting industry: once-through flow steam boilers are used for melting, heat treatment and other processes in the lighting industry.

  15. Non-woven fabrics: once-through steam boilers are used for melt-blown, drying and other processes in the non-woven fabric production industry.

  16. Gas industry: once-through flow steam boilers are used in steam production, compressed air and other processes in the gas industry.

  17. Sewage treatment: once-through flow steam boilers are used in steam supply, hot water supply and other processes in the sewage treatment industry.

  18. Pharmaceutical industry: once-through flow steam boilers are used for distillation, heating, drying and other processes in the pharmaceutical industry.

  19. Civil engineering: once-through steam boilers are used in concrete solidification, steel heating and other processes in civil engineering.

Pressure range and temperature range The pressure range and temperature range of a once-through steam boiler depend on its specific design and application. Generally speaking, once-through steam boilers have a pressure range of 15 psi to 150 psi and a temperature range of 250°F to 600°F.


Main structural parts and materials The main structural parts of a once-through steam boiler include heat exchangers, piping systems, control systems and steam fractionation systems. These parts are usually made of high-strength and corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel.


Design Life and Maintenance The design life of a tubular steam boiler depends on factors such as its material, design and service conditions. Normally, the design life of a once-through steam boiler can reach more than 20 years. In order to ensure the normal operation of the once-through steam boiler and extend its life, regular maintenance and upkeep are necessary. A comprehensive annual inspection and cleaning is generally recommended to ensure the operation and efficiency of your once-through steam boiler.


Main faults : The following faults may occur in once-throughsteam boilers:

  1. Blocked pipes: Due to the accumulation of scale and dirt in the pipes, it can cause pipe blockage and reduced heating efficiency.

  2. Water level control problem: Failure of the water level control system of a once-through steam boiler may cause the water level to be too high or too low, thus affecting the normal operation of the boiler.

  3. Leakage: once-through flow steam boilers can fail due to problems such as leaks at pipe connections.


Conclusion A once-through steam boiler is a high-efficiency boiler that is widely used in industrial and commercial applications. This article introduces the working principle, advantages, disadvantages and applications, pressure range and temperature range, main structural parts and materials, design life and maintenance, main faults, etc. of the once-through steam boiler. By reading this article, readers can better understand the once-through steam boiler and make better use of it in practical applications.

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