If water is heated beyond its boiling point, it vaporizes into steam. The properties of steam vary depending on pressure and temperature to which it is subjected. We will discuss the different type of steam used in different applications.
- Saturated Steam (Dry Steam) – Saturated steam is produced when water is heated to its boiling point and then it is vaporized with additional heat i.e. latent heat. Saturated steam is completely dry and it has the same temperature as water from which it is formed. Saturated steam occurs at temperature and pressure where water and steam can coexist. Heating with saturated steam results in improved product quality & productivity. Heating efficiency may decrease if dry steam is not used for heating. It is always recommended to use saturated steam for the process application.
- Unsaturated Steam (Wet Steam) – Unsaturated steam is a steam that contains water molecules along with steam. Even most energy efficient boiler may discharge steam having upto 5 % of wetness. As the water reaches the saturation stage and begins to vaporize, some water, usually in the form of mist is entrained in the steam. For efficient heating & better product quality dry steam is best.
Also read – Do You Know the Disadvantages of Wet Steam?
- Superheated Steam – Superheated steam is created by heating saturated steam beyond the boiling point. Superheated steam is steam with the temperature higher than the boiling point at that pressure. Superheated steam at same pressure has lower density & higher temperature than saturated steam. Superheated steam is mainly used in turbines. Superheated steam also plays an important role in industries where drying, disinfection & cleaning are required. It is always recommended to use superheated steam for power generation purpose.
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