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The effects of magnetic fields on precipitates obtained from fluids that have been passed through the fields are studied for some potentially scale forming materials. The effect of the field is shown to vary with the material and with the method used to achieve precipitation. The changes that can be observed include changes in particle size, crystal morphology, crystal phase, solubility and rate of precipitation. Results from both laboratory and industrial case studies are presented. The data are interpreted in terms of the interaction between the applied magnetic field and the highly charged crystallisation nuclei being the major effect responsible for the changes.
Scale formation is normally associated with the deposition of unwanted solid materials on a surface and typically with precipitates of compounds such as calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate, barium sulphate, magnesium hydroxide, calcium phosphate, iron hydroxides and silicates. The evaporation of sea water illustrates the fact that these scale forming precipitates can be deposited together and sequentially from complex systems.
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