Rigorous Testing of Throttling Equipment Prevents Dangerous Freeze-Ups

DTS-Digital Temperature Sensor

The Challenge

A Virginia aircraft testing facility utilizes compressed air to test aircraft devices, throttling it from the source starting at 3,800 psi down to 1,650 psi down to 5 psi. Throttling is accomplished with valves, which freeze during the throttling as the pressure is reduced. This results in system condensation that causes water to drip on the floor, creating an unsafe, undesirable condition in the facility. However, the high pressures do not readily allow the introduction of heat into the system, and little pipe is available for heating.

The Solution

A combination of heating styles, utilizing a GCHIB in-line circulation heater, DTS digital thermostat and heat trace cable was designed by Chromalox.  This combination of heaters introduced 55 kW of heat into the system, preventing freezing and unsafe condensation. Piping on the high pressure portion of the system was double heat traced.  High pressure lines before the 30 kW in-line circulation heater were heat traced as well.


  • Comprehensive thermal solution provided a high degree of performance, eliminating the problem
  • Cost-effective design provided added benefit to customer