Saturated Steam

Definition - What does Saturated Steam mean?

Saturated steam is the type of steam that occurs when the liquid and gaseous phases of water exist simultaneously at a given temperature and pressure. In simpler terms, the steam is in equilibrium with the heated water. During the saturated condition, the rate at which water is vaporized is equal to the rate at which it is condensed.

Corrosionpedia explains Saturated Steam

When heat is applied to water, its temperature continues to rise until it reaches its boiling point at that pressure. As further heat is added, the water vaporizes and converts to steam. The steam that exists at the same temperature as the water from which it is formed is known as saturated steam. In other words, saturated steam exists at approximately 100°C (212°F) at atmospheric pressure.

One of the main characteristics of saturated steam is that it is dry; i.e., it does not contain any water droplets. Another critical property of saturated steam is that it is invisible to the human eye. Saturated steam can be observed near the nozzles of some steam vents because as the saturated steam travels further away from the nozzle and into the atmosphere, its temperature drops and condenses to form visible clouds of white vapor (droplets of water), also called wet steam.

Saturated steam is commonly used as a heating source for several applications including reboilers, reactors, heat exchanges and other heat transfer equipment.

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