It is always advisable to use dry steam for heating applications. Dryness of steam is measured as expressed as dryness fraction. It is advised to use steam with maximum dryness fraction. Steam below the dryness fraction of 97-98% might lead to following disadvantages :
- Reduced Efficiency: Wet steam has a lower dryness fraction, which means that it contains more moisture. This can lead to reduced efficiency in processes that rely on steam, such as power generation and heating.
- Increased Corrosion: Wet steam can cause increased corrosion in pipes and equipment, as the moisture can lead to the formation of rust and other corrosion products.
- Reduced Heat Transfer: Wet steam has a lower heat transfer coefficient than dry steam, which means that it is less efficient at transferring heat. This can lead to reduced efficiency in processes that rely on steam for heating, such as sterilization and distillation.
- Increased Maintenance: Wet steam can cause increased wear and tear on equipment and pipes, which can lead to increased maintenance costs.
- Water hammer: Wet steam can cause water hammer, a destructive pressure surge that can damage pipes, valves, and other equipment.
- Reduced Quality of Product: Wet steam can lead to reduced quality of product in some manufacturing processes, as it can cause discoloration, oxidation, or other quality issues.
- Increased Energy Cost : Wet steam is less dense than dry steam, which means that it has a lower energy content. This can lead to increased energy costs, as more steam is needed to achieve the same level of heating or power generation.
- Reduced Safety: Wet steam can increase the risk of explosions and other safety hazards, as the moisture can lead to the formation of steam pockets in pipes and equipment.