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At the end of this chapter students will: • •
Know the various ways in which heat exchangers are classified Have a knowledge of the structure and characteristics of available heat exchanger types Have an understanding of the relative merits of different heat exchanger types for particular applications.
Classification of Heat Exchangers
Heat exchangers are described in a number of ways, according to their geometry and their application. Fig. 3.1a-f illustrates the classifications that will be used in this module, however this is not exclusive. Other designations are used in particular industries and standards are relevant to some applications. One important distinction that is not included in Figure 3.1 is that between fired and unfired heat exchangers. In this module we shall focus mainly on unfired heat exchangers although much of the analysis is applicable to fired units, except in the region of the combustion chamber. The classifications included in Fig. 3.1 are:
a) b) c) d) e) f) Classification by Heat Transfer Process Classification by Surface Area Density Classification by Number of Fluid Streams Classification by Flow Arrangement Classification by Heat Transfer Mechanisms Classification by Application and Industry Classification by Construction
Classification by Heat Transfer Process Heat may be transferred between two fluids by direct contact, in which case the fluids are permitted to mix. Examples of this arrangement include open cooling towers, many driers and direct contact feed heaters. In this module we shall be dealing
principally with indirect contact heat exchangers in which the two fluid streams are separated by an impermeable wall through which heat is transferred. An alternative arrangement of indirect heat exchanger incorporates a solid storage element which is alternately heated and cooled by the hot and cold process streams, respectively.
Heat Transfer Process
Direct Contact type
Indirect Contact type
Figure 3.1a Classification by Heat Transfer Process
Classification by Surface Area Density Heat exchangers with a high ratio of heat transfer area to volume (and, by implication, small flow passages) are known as compact heat exchangers (CHEs). An arbitrary, but generally accepted boundary between compact and non-compact classifications is of the order of 300m2/m3, although some authors suggest values of 200m2/m3 or 700m2/m3 are more appropriate figures. The spectrum of area densities found in heat exchangers is found in figure 3.2 An area density of 300m2/m3 corresponds to a flow passage hydraulic diameter of 10mm.
Surface Area Density
Compact > 300m2/m3
Non-Compact 2 <300m /m3
Figure 3.1b Classification by Surface Area Density
Figure 3.2 Overview of compact heat transfer surfaces
Classification by Number of Fluid Streams The majority of heat exchangers have two fluid streams - the hot and the cold stream. Electric heaters and heat sinks involve heat transfer from a solid to one fluid. In the process industries it is common for heat transfer to take place between a number of fluid streams within a single unit.
Number of Fluid Streams
Figure 3.1c Classification by Number of Fluid Streams
Classification by Flow Arrangement The three simplest flow arrangements are illustrated in Fig. 3.3. These are described as parallel or co-current flow (both fluids flowing in the same direction); counter or countercurrent flow (the fluids flowing in opposite directions); and cross-flow (the fluids flowing at right angles). Multipass arrangements involve a combination of parallel and counter flow in parts of the heat exchanger and may include an element of
crossflow. The flow arrangement has a quantitative effect on the performance of a heat exchanger. This is discussed in more detail in Section 5.
Flow A rrangement
Parallel Flow C o-current Flow
C ounter-flow C ountercurrent Flow
Figure 3.1d Classification by Flow Arrangement
Figure 3.3 Flow configerations through heat exchangers
Classification by Heat Transfer Mechanisms The three convective heat transfer mechanisms occurring within heat exchangers are single-phase convection, boiling and condensation. In some circumstances radiation plays a significant part in the heat transfer.
Heat Transfer Mechanisms
Single phase convection both fluids
Single phase convection to boiling fluid
Condensing fluid to boiling fluid
Condensing fluid to single phase convection
Electric Heating to fluid
Convective and radiative heat transfer
Figure 3.1e Classification by Heat Transfer Mechanisms
Classification by Application and Industry Many descriptive terms are applied to heat exchangers based upon their application or function. Heat exchangers performing similar duties may be referred to by different names depending upon the application and the custom of the relevant industry. These descriptions may be misleading - for example no evaporation occurs in the typical domestic hot water boiler.
Boiler, Evaporator Reboiler
Oil cooler, air-cooled heat exchanger, “radiator”, etc Heat sink
Figure 3.f Classification by Application and Industry
Classification by Construction The classification of heat exchangers by construction type is in many ways the most important of the classifications described here. When a heat exchanger is specified
This arrangement is extremely flexible and can be arranged to give a wide range of flow configurations.the shell .for a particular duty the one of the first tasks of the designer is to identify suitable construction types.2 Heat Exchanger Construction Types 3. it is still the standard against which others compete. The shell-and-tube heat exchanger is the mainstay of the process industry and is widely used elsewhere. Those with considerably more tubes and baffles to guide the shell side fluid are known as shell-and-tube heat exchangers.and one or more tubes the tubes.within the shell.1g Classification by Construction 3.6 . Double Pipe Shell-and-Tube Spiral Tube Plate-Fin Tube-Fin Figure 3.2 Construction Tubular Spiral Plate Lamella Extended Surface Regenerative Proprietary Rotary Gasketed Plate Brazed Plate Welded Plate Fixed Matrix Embossed Plate PCHE SPFHE Heat Pipe etc. and with no baffles to guide the shell side fluid are referred to as double-pipe heat exchangers. Although new types of heat exchanger are making some inroads into the traditional markets of the shelland-tube type. Heat exchangers with relatively few tubes (typically less than 12) inside the shell. These are described in Section 3. One fluid flows within the shell and the other in the tubes. Glass etc. Teflon. etc Specialist Materials Graphite. the shell-and-tube heat exchanger comprises a number of tubes housed within a shell with their axes parallel to that of the shell. A simplified diagram of a shell-and tube unit with one shell side pass and two tube side 3.for example in power plant condensers and refrigeration plant.1 Tubular Heat Exchangers Tubular heat exchanges comprise an outer tube . The Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchanger As stated above.2.
Figure 3. Some variations and a system for the nomenclature used for shell-and-tube units is given in Figure 3.7 .4 Shell-and Tube Heat Exchanger 3.4.passes is illustrated in Figure 3.5.
since one fluid flows through the tubes while the shell side fluid flows over the tubes. The tubes may be plain or may have low fins on either or both the internal and external surface to increase the effective heat transfer area and. brazing or welding may be employed to increase the strength and integrity of the tube to tubesheet joint.6m diameter. drilled to locate the tubes. to enhance the heat transfer coefficient which can be achieved. for sizes up to about 0. the exception being the U tube design. in some cases.5 Types of shell and tube heat exchangers The tubes provide the heat transfer surface in a shell-and-tube heat exchanger. cut from standard pipe.8 . The tubes are held in tubesheets. The tubes are expanded in the holes in the tubesheet to form a mechanical seal. normally made from 3. The tubesheet is a round metal plate.Figure 3. generally one at each end. The shell is either rolled from plate and welded along its seam. Flanged nozzles. additionally. or.
research and development relating to heat transfer. 2003) Although the shell-and-tube heat exchanger has been the most popular design of process heat exchanger since the advent of the process industry. Figure 3.standard pipe are welded into holes in the shell to provide inlets and outlets for the shell side fluids.9 . Conventional baffle 3. Flanges are welded to each end of the shell to attach channels or bonnets (particularly in the case of U tube exchangers the bonnet may be welded directly to the shell at one end). An array of transverse baffles in the shell provides support for the tubes and guides the flow back and forth across the tube bundle. manufacturing methods and materials means that improved designs are evolving. John Wiley & Sons.6a Plate baffles types. Two-phase (boiling and condensing) units can benefit from the use of micro-finned and treated surfaces. This serves to improve the heat transfer at the expense of some additional pressure drop. modified from Mueller (1973) (Taken from Fundementals of Heat Exchangers Design by Shah and Sekulic. In the case of multi-pass shell side flow longitudinal baffles are included in the shell.
(b) tube in a rod baffle exchanger supported by four rods.6(b)) and Helical Baffles (Figure 3.arrangements are illustrated in Figure 3. (c) square layout of tubes with rods.(a) Four rod baffles held by skid bars (no tubes shown). The use of twisted tubes (Figure 3. 2003) 3.6(a) while relatively recent developments are rod baffles (Figure 3.10 . John Wiley & Sons. Figure 3. (d) triangular layout of tubes with rods (Shah.6(d)) eliminates the need for baffles entirely. 1981) (Taken from Fundementals of Heat Exchangers Design by Shah and Sekulic.6b .6(c)).
NJ. (b) double helix (Courtesay of ABB Lamus Heat Transfer. 2003) The tube side fluid enters and leaves through nozzles welded to the tube side channel.6d Twisted tube bundle for a shell-and-tube exchanger (courtesay of Brown Fintube Company. TX (Taken from Fundementals of Heat Exchangers Design by Shah and Sekulic.Figure 3. 2003) Figure 3.6c Helical baffles shell-and-tube exchanger: (a) single helix. 3. Other important construction components that are found in most shell-and-tube heat exchangers include tie-rods.11 .) Taken from Fundementals of Heat Exchangers Design by Shah and Sekulic. spacers and gaskets. This channel may incorporate one or more pass dividers to give the requisite number of tube side passes. The design of shell-and-tube heat exchangers will be covered in more detail in section 6. Houston. John Wiley & Sons. sealing strips. John Wiley & Sons. Bloomfield.
8b Multi-tube double-pipe heat exchanger 3. double-pipe heat exchangers are arranged as "U" tubes so that. irrespective of the overall length of the heat exchanger the fluid inlet and outlet connections are located relatively close to each other. This is shown schematically in figure 3.12 . Shell side fluid in Tube side fluid out Tube side fluid in Shell side fluid out Figure 3.8 illustrates arrangements of double-pipe heat exchangers. thus minimising pipe runs. Units with multiple internal tubes. 3.The Double-Pipe Heat Exchanger The double-pipe heat exchanger in its simplest form comprises two concentric tubes. but having the same general structure and with no baffles are also referred to as double-pipe heat exchangers.7 Frequently.7 Double Pipe Heat Exchanger Schematic Figure 3. one fluid flows in the inner tube while the other fluid flows in the annulus between the inner and outer tubes. Fig.
Compact heat exchangers (CHEs) are not a new technology although innovative designs are continuously being produced to suit market requirements. at least in the process industries. there are an increasing number of alternatives which the innovative engineer should consider. or more) and high heat transfer coefficients compared to other exchanger types.While the tubular heat exchanger may be regarded as the workhorse of the heat exchanger world. Most of these are classed as compact heat exchangers and some are described in the later sections of this chapter.13 . Compact heat exchangers are characterised by high heat transfer surface-area to volume ratios (typically 200 to 300 m2 per m3. 3. The students needs only to look at an air conditioiner. Such designs are more efficient in terms of heat transfer although fouling and pressure are important design considerations and compact heat exchangers are not suitable for all applications. a radiator or modern central heating 'boiler' to see that compact design of heat exchangers are literally in everyday use.
As the materials of construction. but are usually corrugated. The most common variant of the plate and frame heat exchanger consists of a number of pressed. where the ability to access plate surfaces for cleaning is imperative.14 . the fluids in a plate heat exchanger (PHE) are separated by thin plates. rather than tubes. but these were soon superceded by stainless steel. Plate and frame heat exchangers first found widespread used in the food and dairy industries. There are several variants of PHE. being described in patents dating from the late 19th century. and this type of heat exchanger presents the greatest challenge to the shelland-tube type. corrugated metal plates compressed together into a frame.2. the corrugations being important in that they give the plates structural rigidity and they induce turbulence thus enhancing the heat transfer. A number of arrangements are discussed below. The plates are unfinned. Plate and Frame (Gasketed Plate) Heat Exchanger The plate and frame or gasketed plate heat exchanger was one of the first compact exchangers to be used in the UK process industries. However the design was first exploited in 1923 for use for the food and drinks processing. particularly in the dairy industry.2 Plate Heat Exchangers As the name suggests. 3. in particular the gasket materials. developed the operating range and applicability of the units increased. It is currently second to the shell and tube heat exchanger in terms of market share. now the most common plate material. Early designs used gunmetal plates. partly to seal the spaces between adjacent plates and partly to distribute the media between the flow channels. These plates are provided with gaskets.3.
the differences in performance claimed tend to be associated with the patterns on the plates that form the flow channels. While all manufacturers follow the same basic construction method. There are numerous suppliers of plate and frame heat exchangers. 3.15 .Exploded View of a ‘Food Style’ Plate and Frame Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of APV) Figure 3.9 shows an exploded view of a typical plate and frame heat exchanger design. Newer designs can accommodate features such as grossly unequal flow rates on each side of the plate. and the choice of gasket materials.Figure 3.9 .
10 Plate Design Arrangement (Coutesy of SWEP International) The heat transfer surface consists of a number of thin corrugated plates pressed out of a high grade metal. The plates 3. even with this limited range a manufacturer can produce wider range of channel properties. the plates for plate and frame heat exchangers are mass-produced using expensive dies and presses. Therefore. as can be seen from figure 3. However. while leakage from the region of the transfer port is into a vented area. It is worth noting that the gaskets are arranged to avoid interstream leakage.10(a) and (b) illustrates the gasketing arrangement around the ports of a gasketed plate.16 . Figure 3. which can be custom-built to meet almost any capacity and operating conditions.10. Unlike shell and tube heat exchangers.Figure 3. Any leakage from the main body of the gasket is directly to the outside of the heat exchanger. make the Gasketed Plate Heat Exchanger attractive when handling foodstuffs. This feature. L. The pressed pattern on each plate surface induces turbulence and minimises stagnant areas and fouling. all plate and frame heat exchangers are made with a limited range of plate designs and sizes. together with the ease of disassembly for cleaning.
17 .10(a) – Close-up View of a Heat Exchanger Plate (Courtesy of APV) Figure 3.11 (a) and (b) and a double pass arrangement is shown in figure 3.are ordered so that the required flow arrangements are achieved. Single pass arrangements are shown in figure 3.11(c). Figure 3.10(b) Details of typical gasket arrangement for PHE (taken from Saunders-Heat Exchangers) 3.
11 (b) Most common flow arrangements in Plate and Frame Heat Exchangers Figure 3.11(c) Examples of flow arrangements in PHEs 3.18 .Figure 3.11 (a) Schematic Representation of Flow Paths (single pass) Figure 3.
and in general this type of heat exchanger has a low propensity for fouling. the operating temperature range is from -35oC to +200oC.000 m3/hour with a double port entry. Higher • Asbestos Fibre Heat transfer areas range from 0. the inlet and outlet ports (or nozzles) are all in the fixed plate this allows dismantling for cleaning.02 m2 to 4. Typical gasket materials are listed below. rising to 5. temperatures can be tolerated if asbestos gaskets are acceptable.45 m2 (per plate). with test pressures to 40 bar. The moveable plate facilitates access for cleaning or exchanging the heat transfer surfaces.11(a). as shown in figure 3. The frame consists of a fixed frame plate at one end and a moveable pressure plate at the other. • Viton. Fouling resistances of typically 25% of those for shell and tube heat exchangers have been 3. The surface pattern on the plates tends to induce good mixing and turbulence. A feature of this type of heat exchanger is the ability to add or remove surface area as necessary.The plate pack is clamped together in a frame suspended from a carrying bar. The operating limits of gasketed plate and frame heat exchangers vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and is largely governed by the gasket material used. maintenance or for the addition or removal of plates without disturbing the pipework connections.500 m3/hour can be accommodated in standard units. Approach temperatures as low as 1oC are feasible with plate and frame heat exchangers. together with their approximate maximum operating temperature: • Neoprene • Nitrile rubber 135oC • Butyl rubber 150oC • EPDM. Typically. 150oC 175oC 260oC 110oC Design pressures up to 30 bar can be tolerated. If.19 . measured by the Heat Transfer Research Incorporated (HTRI) in the USA. Flow rates of up to 3. Gaskets are fitted to seal the plate channels and interfaces.
as stated earlier are extensively used in the processing of food and drinks. In the chemicals sector. hexane and kerosene. where the ease of plate cleaning and re-gasketting are important.12) comprises a pack of pressed plates brazed together. Gasketed units may be used in refrigeration and heat pump plants and. Brazed Plate Heat Exchanger The brazed plate heat exchanger. as shown in section in fig use of gaskets. a substantial list of heating and cooling applications includes cooling isoparaffin.evaporating liquid Plate heat exchangers are rarely used in applications involving single-phase gases. thus completely eliminating the Figure 3. (see Figure 3.12 – Section Through a Brazed Plate Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of Alfa Laval Thermal Division) 3. There are potential applications for plate heat exchangers on most chemical plants.20 . • Condensing vapour . • Liquid . Heating glycerine and condensing ethanol are other routine uses.Gasketed plate and frame heat exchangers have a large range of applications typically classified in terms of the nature of the streams to be heated/cooled as follows: • Liquid-liquid. sulphuric acid. The frame can also be omitted.liquid. salt solutions. The offshore chemical industry is also a large user in the UK.
thus permitting higher allowable working pressures than would be found in gasketed units. but it is also suitable for process water heating.Brazed plate heat exchangers tend to be offered by the principal suppliers of the plate and frame type and tend to be directed at niche markets such as refrigeration. The brazed plate unit is aimed at the refrigeration/heat pump market for evaporators and condensers (water-cooled). The brazed and gasketed PFE share many features. Nickel brazed units are available for temperatures up to 400oC and maximum operating pressures of 16 bar. Stainless steel is usually used as the plate material. Brazed PFEs are available with heat transfer capabilities up to 600 kW. but obviously the brazed unit cannot be disassembled for cleaning or addition of plates. heat recovery and district heating systems. and the internal herringbone contact points are also brazed. Brazed plate heat exchangers consist of a number of pressed stainless steel plates joined together by brazing. temperature limitations are therefore dependent upon the braze properties. Copper brazed units are available for temperatures up to 225oC and a maximum operating pressure of 30 bar. The introduction of nickel brazed units has allowed brazed units to be used within the process industries. Capillary forces collect the brazing material at the contact points between the plates. for duties such as de-mineralised water cooling and solvent condensing. economisers and oil coolers. depending on the supplier. The braze seals the periphery of the plates. and the brazing process is carried out under vacuum. subcoolers. However. but copper braze may produce an incompatibility with some working media. where they have largely displaced shell-and-tube exchangers. the corrugated plates induce a highly turbulent flow such that the scouring action of the turbulence reduces surface deposits in the heat exchanger. 3. Typically a very high content copper braze is used.21 . Brazed plate heat exchangers can also be used as desuperheaters.
Typically.13 – Flow Diagram of the LR4 APV Baker Laser-Welded Plate Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of APV) The overall construction is similar to that of the gasketed plate and frame heat exchanger (described above). Externally. the difference is the plate pack has alternating welded channels and gasketed channels as in the arrangement illustrated in figure 3. a brazed plate heat exchanger. except for a small gasket around the ports. have a diameter of 200 mm. are attached to the ports in the welded pair using a glueless method.13. other materials are eliminated and corrosion and the consequence of gasked degradation is reduced. The advantage of welding the plate pairs is that.22 . partially welded plate heat exchangers (also referred to as twin plate heat exchangers) resemble fully-gasketed plate and frame units. normally using laser welding. had a weight of 20 kg. Its height and width were 522 mm and 115 mm respectively. Welded Plate Heat Exchangers Welded plate heat exchangers. and weigh 130 kg. a brazed plate heat exchanger is about 20-30% of the weight of a shell and tube heat exchanger for the same duty. Porthole gaskets fabricated from highly resistant elastomer or non-elastomer materials. Figure 3. with one important exception: each plate pair is welded together. used as a water-cooled refrigerant condenser with a duty of 70 kW. or more correctly partially welded plate heat exchangers combine advantages of gasketed plate and brazed plate units. Plate construction materials are as for the 3.250 mm long. For example. A conventional shell and tube condenser of the same duty would be 2. However.
Partially welded plate heat exchangers are used for the evaporation and condensation of refrigerants such as ammonia and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).23 . but with the added protection from leaks afforded by the partially welded construction. The plate material is normally selected for its resistance to corrosion. The units may be disassembled and plate pairs added or the external surface of the pairs mechanically cleaned.3 Plate-Fin Heat Exchangers Plate-fin heat exchangers (PFEs) were developed some 50 years ago for use in the cryogenics industry. Brazed PFEs Fin Fluid 'A' Fluid 'B' Plat Figure 3. and for chemical and general process duties involving aggressive liquids.2. but extended to include more aggressive media. The operating limits are similar to those for the gasketed plate and frame type. especially offshore is steadily increasing. The internal surfaces must be chemically cleaned. They are now used widely in aircraft and defence applications and their use in process applications.gasketed plate and frame heat exchanger.14 Brazed PFEs 3. 3. Potential applications are also as for the gasketed plate and frame heat exchanger.
24 .16.15. 3. a plate-fin heat exchanger with 6 fins/cm provides approximately 1. but small compared with a shell-and tube unit for the same duty. and sometimes cut.300 m2 of surface per m3 of volume. The general arrangement of a plate fin heat exchanger is shown schematically in figure 3.A brazed PFE comprises a series of metal sheets pressed. a significant part of the core may be used for flow distribution rather than heat transfer. At entry and exit to the core the fins are designed to ensure even flow distribution.14 and 3. The fins act as both secondary heat transfer surfaces and as structural members. the size of this unit serves to illustrate that compact does not necessarily mean small compact heat exchangers designed for high thermal duties may well be very large in absolute terms. An assembled unit is shown in figure 3. to form fins. Headers are brazed onto the cores. particularly in smaller units. Each sheet of fins is then sandwiched between parting plates with bars down each side and then the assembly is vacuum or salt brazed together to form the core of the heat exchanger. This heat exchanger would be approximately 10% of the volume of an equivalent shell and tube heat exchanger with 19 mm tubes. For example. and.
Figure 3.16 – Aluminium Plate-Fin Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of Chart Marston Limited) 3.25 .15 Core Structure of a Brazed Aluminium Plate-Fin Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of Chart Marston Limited) Figure 3.
Some guidelines are presented in Table 3.there is no requirement to use the same type or size of fin for each side of the heat exchanger. It should be remembered that the fins may be chosen to suit the characteristics of each fluid stream .(a) Plain Fins (b) Perforated Fins (c) Offset-Strip Fins (d) Serrated Fins Figure 3. these are illustrated in figure 3. The choice of fin type and dimension depends upon the nature of the fluid stream and the allowable pressure drop.1.17 Typical Fins for Plate-Fin Heat Exchangers A range of fin types and dimensions are available the most common types are: plain. resulting in a tortuous flow path for the fluid and increased heat transfer.17 Plain fins may be pressed in a herringbone or wavy pattern.26 . 3. louvred and perforated. serrated (or offset strip).
depending on the physical size and the maximum operating temperature. Aluminium brazed units can operate at up to 120 bar. depending on the pipe and header alloys.1 – Brazed Plate-Fin Types The maximum operating temperature of a plate-fin heat exchanger is a function of its construction materials. In the case of aluminium vacuum-brazed units.Fin Type Application Relative ∆p Relative Heat Transfer Plain Perforated Herringbone General Boiling streams Gas streams with low allowable P.27 . Stainless steel plate-fin heat exchangers are able to operate at up to 650oC. Stainless steel plate-fin heat exchangers are currently limited to 50 bar. High pressure streams Gas streams for hydrocarbon and natural gas applications Lowest Low High Lowest Low High Serrated Gas streams in air separation applications General Highest Highest Table 3. Higher pressures can be tolerated by using a diffusion-bonded structure. modules of 6.4 m x 1.25 m x 2. 3. while titanium units can tolerate temperatures approaching 550oC.2 m are available. The size of a plate-fin heat exchanger is a function of the procedure used to assemble the core and is limited by the size of oven used for the brazing process. Aluminium brazed plate-fin heat exchangers can be used from cryogenic temperatures (-270oC) up to 200oC. with developments expected that will extend the capability to 90 bar.
Water is suitable if it is a closed loop and contains corrosion inhibitors. Rolls Laval near Wolverhampton.3mm. as described below. and combined with their inherent cost. development of the SPF/DB heat exchanger required adoption of technologies which were first used in other fields: in this case the expertise of Rolls Royce in the manufacture of high integrity aero-engine components.2. The structural integrity of conventional plate-fin heat exchangers is further compromised in typical process applications by the presence of braze material and the heightened susceptibility to corrosion at the brazed joints. one of the world's leading heat exchanger manufacturers. Rolls Royce recognised that the techniques used to make hollow gas turbine blades. 3. is a poor structural material under cyclic loads and at moderate temperatures. • Fluids must be in the temperature range –270 to +200 o C. • The maximum design pressure is less than 120 bar. Acceptance by the process industries has been slower.If considering use of a brazed aluminium plate-fin exchanger. described in section 3.5. Stainless steel and titanium are both difficult to work. Proprietary designs overcome this. aluminium. UK. the requirement for a clean fluid must be met. make PHEs made with these materials expensive and the problem of the brazed joints remains.28 . but unless chemical cleaning is possible. the engineer should ensure that: • All fluids must be clean and dry. • Fluids must be non-corrosive to aluminium. The temperature and material compatibility criteria are obviously eased if stainless steel or titanium is used. were ideally suited to the construction of quality heat exchangers. Filtration must be used to remove particulate matter over 0. Diffusion Bonded Plate Heat Exchangers A recent development is the Rolls Laval super-plastic formed diffusion bonded heat exchanger (SPF/DB) made entirely of titanium. largely because the most common material of construction. As with the Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger. is a joint venture involving Rolls Royce and Alfa-Laval.
Each element of the heat exchanger comprises three sheets of titanium: two parting sheets separated by the secondary heat transfer surface. The resulting sandwich is heated under external pressure so that diffusion bonding occurs.19 shows completed elements after super plastic forming. Gas is injected at a controlled high pressure into the sandwich forcing the parting plates to separate and the central sheet to stretch between them. A bond inhibitor is then deposited on the internal surfaces of the parting sheet in a pattern corresponding to the ultimate layout of the passages of the heat exchanger. thus forming the tins. Exploitation of this phenomenon permits the generation of complex shapes to close tolerance without the use of formers. Titanium sheets of the required thickness and surface finish are cleaned to a high standard to ensure that no surface contamination is present which might inhibit grain growth during the diffusion bonding process.Certain metals. including titanium. exhibit superplasticity. The die is then closed under external pressure to flatten or "iron" the element. Superplasticity is the ability of a material to sustain large strains without the onset of tensile instability or necking. removing any irregularities in its external shape.29 . as described earlier in this article. The steps in the manufacturing process are illustrated in figure 3. A number of elements are diffusion bonded together to form the heat exchanger core. and super-plastic forming had been used in the company for volume production of components to the highest quality standards. The steps involved in the manufacture of the Rolls Laval heat exchanger are as follows. 3. Furthermore. Addition of appropriate inlet and outlet ports and welding of the nozzles completes the unit. effectively masking these areas and thus preventing bonding. The next stage of the manufacture involves opening the flow channels in the plate assembly using superplastic forming. the techniques of diffusion bonding.18 and figure 3. During the forming the assembly is placed in a closed die and heated to around 900°C.
Figure 3.19 Example Elements of Diffusion Bonded Plate-Fin Heat Exchangers (Courtesy of Rolls Laval Heat Exchangers Ltd) 3.18 Manufacturing the Core of a Diffusion-Bonded Plate-Fin Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of Rolls Laval Heat Exchangers Ltd) Figure 3.30 .
20 The savings in expensive titanium and valuable offshore space are substantial. as represented in figure 3. A further five units have now been installed offshore and sixteen exchangers are being manufactured for new platforms. Despite the technical promise of this particular unit. 3. Its description remains in the notes as an example of application of different manufacturing techniques to heat exchanger manufacture. Since this module was prepared manufacture of the Rolls-Laval SPF/DB heat exchanger has ceased.000 each and weighing over 4.5 tonnes. Although the titanium units currently available are particularly suited for sea water cooling offshore it is intended that the range of materials offered will be extended making the technology attractive in many other processing environments. it was not a commercial success. Costing £300.The first three of these units to go into service are employed on an unmanned gas production platform cooling wet natural gas after compression. these heat exchangers are neither cheap nor small. but they are a tenth of the volume and less than a quarter of the weight of an equivalent shell-and-tube exchanger.31 .
as can the exchanger diameter.4 Spiral Heat Exchangers The classic design of a spiral heat exchanger is simple. the basic spiral element is constructed of two metal strips rolled around a central core forming two concentric spiral channels. Figure 3.21(a) (b) and (c) show spiral heat exchangers with different flow arrangements.20 Size difference for Gas Cooling Heat Exchanger on a North Sea Platform (Courtesy of Rolls Laval Heat Exchangers Ltd) 3. ensuring that the hot and cold fluids cannot intermix. Plate width along the exchanger axis may be up to 2 m. Channel width is normally in the range 5 to 30 millimetres. giving heat transfer areas up to 600m2 per unit.2.Figure 3. The heat exchanger can be optimised for the process concerned by using different channel widths. Normally these channels are alternately welded.32 . 3.
In some cases double spacing may be used.33 .21 (a) Type 1 . produced by 3. stainless steel and titanium.Combination CrossFlow and Spiral Flow-Spiral Flow (Courtesy of Alfa Laval Thermal Division) The spiral heat exchanger can be tailor-made to perform in a wide variety of duties in all metals that can be cold-formed and welded.Spiral Flow-Spiral Flow Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of Alfa Laval Thermal Division) Figure Type 3.Cross Flow-Spiral Flow Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of Alfa Laval Thermal Division) Figure 3.Figure 3.21(b) .21(c) Type 3 . such as carbon steel. High-grade alloys are routinely used for excellent resistance to corrosion and erosion.
Variations to the basic design give exchangers that are suitable for liquid-vapour or liquid-gas services. • Type 3 – Combination design. 3. the hot stream enters at the top and flows tangentially through the exchanger exiting at the side. The flow configurations illustrated in figure 3. The smooth and curved channels result in a lower fouling tendency with difficult fluids. Spiral heat exchangers tend to be self-cleaning. with side wall inlet and central outlet fed through the side wall. This design can be used as either a condenser or vaporiser.21(b)) The medium in crossflow passes through the open channels of the spiral usually in a vertical direction.34 .21(a)). The service fluid spiral flows through the other channel. Each fluid has only one channel and any localised fouling will result in a reduction in the channel cross sectional area causing a velocity increase to scour the fouling layer. The cold fluid enters at the periphery and flows towards the centre. welded shut. but should not be used for fouling media or media containing solids. These double channel systems are used when there is a large flowrate or small pressure drop. The use of spiral heat exchangers is not limited to liquid-liquid services. Special designs without gaskets can operate with temperatures up to 850oC.21 may be summarised: • Type 1 – Media in full counter-current flow (Fig 3. The hot fluid enters at the centre of the unit and flows from the inside outward. • Type 2 – One medium in cross flow whilst the other is in spiral flow. with pressures up to 30 bar attainable with special designs. Maximum design pressure is usually 15 bar. (Fig 3.21(c)) A gas or vapour mixture to liquid exchanger combines the above two designs. (Fig 3.simultaneously winding four strips to form two channels for each fluid. the maximum design temperature is 400oC set by the limits of the gasket material. Typically.
they can maximise the heat recovery on large-scale cogeneration projects although they may be more expensive than plate designs. it is ideal for use in the food industry (sauces. Specific advantages are ease of installation. Spiral exchangers can be mounted directly onto the head of distillation columns acting in a condensing or reflux role. or polluted with particles as a result of the relatively large channel width. For the same duty. • An even velocity distribution. or crossover. there are many condensing applications in all process industries particularly for condensing under vacuum.The design is ideal for fluids prone to fouling. whereas shell and tube units require multi-shells in series to handle temperature crossover. • Copes with exit temperature overlap. Spiral heat exchangers also provide temperature control of sewage sludge digesters and have uses in other public and industrial waste plants. • Small hold up times and volumes. slush and slurry) as well as in brewing and wine making. Consequently. a spiral heat exchanger heat transfer area would be 90m2 compared to 60m2 for a plate and frame design or 125m2 for a shell and tube design. Spiral designs have a number of advantages compared to shell and tube heat exchangers: • Optimum flow conditions on both sides of the exchanger. Counter flow spiral heat exchangers have perfect counter-current flow paths that permit the best possible overlap of exit temperatures. Hence. low pressure drop and large flow cross-section. The physical size comparison is shown in figure 3.22. • Removal of one cover exposes the total surface area of one channel providing easy inspection cleaning and maintenance. Spiral heat exchangers have many applications in the chemical industry including TiCl4 cooling. • More thermally efficient with higher heat transfer coefficients.35 . with no hot or cold-spots. As such. with no dead-spots. • An even temperature distribution. 3. oleum processing and heat recovery from many industrial effluents. PVC slurry duties.
36 .Figure 3. including reactors. The printed circuit heat exchanger design offers a unique combination of innovative manufacturing technology and potential breadth of application. it is potentially more than just a compact plate heat exchanger. the PCHE provided a compact alternative to the shell-and-tube heat exchanger for many applications where the latters dominance was unquestioned. mass transfer and mixers. In common with some other compact heat exchangers. corrosion resistant heat exchangers capable of operating at pressures of several hundred atmospheres and temperatures ranging from cryogenic to several hundred degrees Celsius.2. Developed and produced by Heatric in the late 1980s.5 Printed Circuit Heat Exchangers (PCHEs) Printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHEs) are highly compact. and Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers (Courtesy of GEA Process Technology) 3. 3. Spiral. the structure has applications in a variety of other unit operations.22 Heat Exchanger Size Comparison for Plate.
5 to 2.23. are diffusion bonded together to form a compact. This allows enormous flexibility in thermal/hydraulic design. and gives rise to the name of the exchangers. the channels varying typically from 0. as complex new plate patterns require only minimal re-tooling costs. Heatric moved to the UK and has supplied printed circuit exchangers into the offshore and process sectors. The standard manufacturing process involves chemically milling (etching) the fluid flow passages into the plates.24. An example of a plate showing a 'herringbone' pattern of flow paths is shown in figure 2.Figure 2. This process is similar to manufacturing electronic printed circuit boards. No gaskets or brazing materials are 3. strong. carrying flow passage designs tailored for each fluid.37 . Heatric originally developed printed circuit heat exchangers in Australia. all-metal heat exchanger core. This plate/channel forming technique can produce a wide range of flow path sizes. where this type of heat exchanger first became commercially available for refrigeration and process applications in 1985. In 1990. both in the UK and overseas. Stacks of etched plates.0 mm in depth. A cross-section through a typical core sample is shown in Figure 3.23 Fluid Flow Paths on a Typical Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger Etched Plate (Courtesy of Heatric Ltd) Printed circuit heat exchangers are constructed from flat alloy plates with fluid flow passages photo-chemically machined (etched) into them.
Figure 3.25 shows a completed heat exchanger unit. with nickel and nickel alloys also being commonly used. The thermal capacity of large heat exchangers is achieved by welding together diffusion bonded blocks to form the complete heat exchanger core. in order to direct the fluids to the appropriate sets of passages. Finally.38 .required for the assembly. fluid headers and nozzles are welded to the cores.24 Section of a Typical Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger Core (Courtesy of Heatric Ltd) 3. Diffusion bonding allows the plates to be joined so that the bond acquires the same strength as the parent metal. Materials of construction include stainless steel (SS 300 series) and titanium as standard. Figure 3. A copper variant is being developed.
Passages are typically of the order of 2 mm semi-circular cross-section (i. Due to its construction. and the use of austenitic steel allows cryogenic operation. the upper limits depending on the metal selected and the pressure duty. The limitation usually being imposed by the headers.Figure 3.e. the printed circuit heat exchanger is able to withstand substantial pressures. can be up to 2500m2/m3 This is higher than primary surface density which can be achieved in gasketed plate exchangers.39 . Pressures as high as 200 bar are routine. rather than by the core itself. 3. although there is no absolute limit on passage size. and an order of magnitude higher than normal primary surface densities in shell and tube exchangers. The all welded construction is compatible with very high temperature operation. 2 mm across and 1 mm deep) for reasonably clean applications.25 Gas Dew Point Control Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of Heatric Ltd) Mechanical design is flexible. with values in the range 300 . expressed in terms of effective heat transfer area per unit volume. etching patterns can be adjusted to provide high pressure containment where required. Primary heat transfer surface densities. Operating temperature ranges from -200oC to +900oC.500 bar being possible.
To simplify control. Where required high heat exchange effectiveness (over 98%) can be achieved through very close temperature approaches in counter-flow. however often a simple strainer upstream of the unit will remove outsize particles. Counterflow and crossflow arrangements (or a combination) can be accommodated. or to further maximise energy efficiency. Variations to passage geometry have negligible production cost impact since the only tooling required for each variation is a photographic transparency for the photo-chemical machining process. is absent (as are the tubes!) from printed circuit heat exchangers. more than two fluids can exchange heat in a single core. such as gas compression cooling exchangers on offshore platforms. Detailed thermal design of printed circuit heat exchangers is supported by proprietary design software developed by the manufacturer that allows infinite geometric variation to passage arrangements during design optimisation.40 . The thermal design of printed circuit heat exchangers is subject to very few constraints. Concern may be expressed regarding fouling and blockage of the small channels. at any required pressure drop. co-current or cross-flow. and no gaskets are required. PCHEs may be designed for heat loads ranging from a few watts to many megawatts. or a combination of these. an important source of failure in shell and tube exchangers. Pressure drops can be specified. Fluids may be liquid. and the absence of dead spots assist in resisting fouling deposition. Flow induced vibration. the high wall shear stresses. however as with all heat 3. while the corrosion resistant materials of construction for printed circuit heat exchangers. in exchangers weighing from a few kilograms to several tonnes. Hence the potential for leakage and fluid compatibility difficulties are reduced and the high level of constructional integrity renders the designs well suited to critical high pressure applications. multi-stream and multi-pass configurations can be assembled and flow arrangements can be truly countercurrent.Printed circuit heat exchangers are all welded so there is no braze material employed in construction. gas or two-phase.
. The printed circuit heat 3. Printed circuit heat exchangers extend the benefits of compact heat exchangers into applications where pressure. urea.Synthetic fuels production e.exchangers. Figure 3.g. liquids recovery. .Gas processing e. .g. as listed below: • Fuels processing: .41 .g.Geothermal generation.Alkalis e.Petrochemicals e. methanol. .Dehydration. . compressor cooling.g. liquids and two-phase flows. ammonia. . phosphoric.g. ethylene oxide. .Chillers and condensers.Chemical heat pumps. temperature or corrosion prevents the use of conventional plate or plat-fin heat exchangers. propylene.g. . .Feedwater heating. . The duty is 2. lower allowable pressure drops will result in lower heat transfer coefficients and hence larger exchangers. The printed circuit heat exchanger can handle gases. formaldehyde.Fertilisers e.Acids e. Heatric cites four main application areas.Cascade condensers. caustic soda.350 kW across a 4oC LMTD. • Chemical processing: . ethylene. .g.Reactor feed/effluent exchange. caustic potash. phenol. . nitric.Absorption cycles.Plastics e.26 illustrates the size difference between a comparable printed circuit heat exchanger and stack of three series shell and tube units used for gas dew point control. • Refrigeration: . • Power and energy: .Pharmaceuticals.
Figure 3.26 Comparison of Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger and Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers of Equivalent Capacity (Courtesy of Heatric Ltd) 3. this can achieve a significantly higher level of heat transfer. Printed circuit heat exchanger cores are typically 5 to 10 times smaller than shell and tube exchangers tube bundles of equivalent performance.2. compared to 105 tonnes for equivalent shell and tube heat exchangers. in pairs.21 has 600m2 of surface and a design pressure of 124 bar.42 . while externally resembling the former in some respects. The plates are then located inside a shell. circular plates of a similar surface form and material to those of plate and frame heat exchangers. As a plate is more thermally efficient than a tube. The cooling medium flows on the shell side between the pairs of plates. The construction of a plate and shell heat exchanger involves welding together. Plate and shell heat exchangers feature an outer shell enclosing circular plates welded into pairs.6 Plate and Shell Heat Exchanger The plate and shell heat exchanger combines many of the merits of shell and tube with plate heat exchangers. Its weight is 15 tonnes. as shown in Figure 3.exchanger illustrated in Figure 3.
27 General Arrangement of a Plate and Shell Heat Exchanger (Courtesy of APV) Generally the hot fluid is passed through the plate side. which cannot be handled by conventional gasketed plate heat exchangers. Standard plate materials are Titanium B265. The maximum operating temperature of a plate and shell heat exchanger is 900oC. Plate and shell heat exchangers can work with aggressive media and acids. which can be operated in parallel for higher throughputs. A ‘closed’ model has a welded shell or an ‘open’ model has a removable end flange to facilitate shell-side cleaning. The shell can be made of St 35. Single units.43 . if necessary. Plate and shell heat exchangers are available with a heat transfer surface area of up to 500m2. Multi-pass arrangements are possible.3.27. such as Hastelloy or nickel. can currently handle flow rates of 11 litres per second on the shell side. Figure 2. Current plate and shell heat exchanger models accommodate up to 600 plates in a shell 2. The shell side fluid is routed through individual passes via a baffle plate similar to the shell in the tubular type heat exchanger. flow directors on both the shell and plate side adjust the flow paths. and maximum working pressure is 100 bar. while the cooling fluid is directed on the shell side.8 or AISI 316 or other materials. They can also withstand extreme temperature shocks and pressure shocks due to their rigid and compact construction. The principal applications for plate and shell heat exchangers are: 3. Avesta 254 SMO and AISI 316.5 m long with a 1 m diameter.
is used for sulphuric acid. where pressures are low and very thin plates may be used. Ceramic units are available for use at high temperatures. and may be used when handling extremely aggressive fluids. The application of polymers in process heat exchangers is often stimulated by the need to protect against corrosion. thus mitigating the principle thermal disadvantage of polymers. overlapping or crossover of exit temperature is possible. For heat exchangers of equivalent area and capacity. • Condensation/evaporation. for example.• Heating including district heating. Polymer heat exchangers are available for heating. ventilating and air conditioning duties. As plastics have a relatively low thermal 3. TEFLON Heat Exchangers Heat exchangers incorporating TEFLON were first introduced for corrosive or abrasive applications in chemical plants. in other applications the light weight and low cost of some polymers is advantageous.44 . The maximum operating pressure of the plate and shell unit will also be higher. i.7 Polymer Heat Exchangers While most of the heat exchangers used in the process industries are metallic. other materials are available. • Combined exchanger/reactors vessels. • Heat recovery. plate and shell designs are smaller due to the higher ratio of heat transfer area and specific volume.e. 3. Like brazed plate heat exchangers. • Cooling including cryogenic applications.2. TEFLON and glass are occasionally used where extensive corrosion may occur. but shell and plate heat exchangers have been compared with brazed plate heat exchangers. Carbon. It is claimed that the plate and shell heat exchanger will occupy only 20 to 30% of the footprint of equivalent capacity shell and tube types. Data that directly compares the shell and plate unit with a shell and tube heat exchanger are not available. their low thermal conductivity relative to metals. plate and shell heat exchangers reach very close approach temperatures. Furthermore due to the flexible layout of flow path configurations.
7 m2. or as immersion coils. Shell-side baffles promote cross-flow and optimise thermal efficiency.6 to 7. TEFLON “Q” is a resin development that increases the temperature capability up to 200oC and has approximately twice the thermal conductivity of normal TEFLON. Usually the shell is carbon steel although other shell materials are available.22 to 4.conductivity. counter-current designs incorporating flexible tubes of TEFLON FEP or TEFLON “Q” fused at both ends to form a honeycomb structure. Process stream temperatures are restricted to less than 200oC These specialist exchangers are used for corrosive process streams.5 mm to increase flexibility. Tube diameters have been introduced from 2.2 to 23. this resin is tougher and more abrasion resistant.45 . Typically 2. The small bore tubes produce a large surface area for a given volume. Typically 300 tubes of 3 mm diameter give 166 m2/m3 Units are available in lengths from 1. All surfaces exposed to the process stream are made of TEFLON to resist fouling and corrosion.5 to 9. TEFLON heat exchangers are available as shell and tube designs. such as hydrochloric acid. Polymer shell and tube units tend to be single pass. small-bore tubes with thin wall sections were used. In the case of heat exchange between two corrosive streams. for example 1000 tubes of 4. the shell can be TEFLON lined. Immersion Coils Slimline coils are used in medium and large process tanks for heating or cooling purposes.5 mm o/d tubes were used with a wall thickness of 10% of the outside diameter. 3.9 m with surface areas from 3. or for abrasive process streams. Shell diameters range from 76 to 355 mm in lengths from 0.3 m.45 mm o/d inside a 10 inch shell gives a heat transfer area of 275 m 2 /m 3 . In addition.
in many applications there is considerable inertia resisting change from established (usually shell-and-tube) technology. Against this background. In these circumstances the specifier should carry out some preliminary design calculations and assess the options more carefully. custom and practice. 3. others economic and in many cases.46 .3 Choice of Heat Exchanger Types The choice of heat exchanger for a particular application depends upon any factors. often beginning in niche applications. the cost of a heat exchanger is likely to be small (in total perhaps 5-10% of the overall cost of a project). This is understandable. Novel heat exchangers have gained acceptance slowly. Guidelines given by Saunders are given here as in textbox 1 and a summary of compact heat exchangers is included as Table 3.2 It can be seen that in many situations a number of heat exchanger types may be suitable. for example. While enthusiastic heat transfer engineers may favour compact heat exchangers. and its earliest use in the process industries included retrofit applications where shell-and-tube units had failed and the PCHE's small size made retrofit relatively easy. Other compact units have become established in applications where space and weight are critical. For example the plate-and-frame heat exchanger has considerable advantages in the food processing industry and its success in this area has given users confidence in wider applications. while failure of a heat exchanger may result in shut down of the plant with massive cost implications. the PCHE is a popular choice offshore. tried and trusted solutions are strong favourites. some technical.3.
Heat Exchanger Type Selection 3.47 .TextBox 1 .
TextBox 1 .) 3.Heat Exchanger Type Selection (cont.48 .
2 Comparative Summary of Heat Exchangers 3.49 .Table 3.
Table 3.2 Comparative Summary of Heat Exchangers Features (contnued) 3.50 .
and some preliminary work may be necessary to determine the most appropriate. 3. Several different types of heat exchangers maybe suitable for a particular duty. The operating conditions and economic factors determine the type of heat exchanger which is best suited to a particular duty.Summary Points • • • Heat exchangers may be classified in various ways.51 .
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