Nitrile (NBR)

Oil resistant Fat resistant Food stuffs Mineral oil Water






Resin cured butyl (IIR)

Acids Lyes

Strong alkalies

Strong phosphoric acid

Dilute mineral acids




Fats and fatty acids Petroleum oils Chlorinated hydrocarbons Liquids with dissolved chlorine Mineral oil

Oxygen rich demin. water Strong oxidants

Ethylene-propylene (EPDM)

Oxidizing agents Dilute acids Amines Water

Hot & conc. acids Very strong oxidants Fats & fatty acids Chlorinated hydrocarbons

Petroleum oils Many inorganic acids (Most all NBR fluids)

Amines Ketones Esters

Organic acids Liquid ammonia

tract two times the bolt diameter and subtract another 50 mm. For depth of corrugation ask supplier, or take the compressed plate pack dimension, divide by the number of plates and subtract the plate thickness from the result. The number of passages (Np) is the number of plates minus 1 then divided by 2.

Typical overall coefficients to start a rough sizing are as below. Use these in conjunction with the NTU calculated for the process. The closer the NTU matches the plate (say between 2.0 and 3.0), the higher the range of listed coefficients can be used. The narrower (smaller) the depth of corrugation, the higher the coefficient (and pressure drop), but also the lower the ability to carry through any par-ticulate.

5700-7400 W/(m2 °C) 5700-7400 W/(m2 °C) 2300-4000 W/(m2 °C) 3400-5000 W/(m2 °C) 400-1700 W/(m2 °C) Pressure drops typically can match conventional tubular exchangers. Again from the APV handbook an average correlation is as follows:

2fG2L gpDe






g = gravitational constant

Fouling factors are typically Vrn of TEMA values or a percent over-surfacing of 10-20 percent is used. ("Sizing Plate Exchangers" Jeff Kerner, Chemical Engineering, November 1993).

LMTD is calculated like a 1 pass-1 pass shell and tube with no F correction factor required in most cases.

Overall coefficients are determined like shell and tube exchangers; that is, sum all the resistances, then invert. The resistances include the hot-side coefficient, the cold-side coefficient, the fouling factor (usually only a total value not individual values per fluid side) and the wall resistance.


The title of this group of plate exchangers has been used for a great variety of designs for various applications from normal gasketed-plate exchanger services to air-preheater services on fired heaters or boilers. The intent here is to discuss more traditional heat-exchanger designs, not the heat-recovery designs on fired equipment flue-gas streams. Many similarities exist between these products but the manufacturing techniques are quite different due to the normal operating conditions these units experience.

To overcome the gasket limitations, PHE manufacturers have developed welded-plate exchangers. There are numerous approaches to this solution: weld plate pairs together with the other fluid-side conventionally gasketed, weld up both sides but use a horizonal stacking of plates method of assembly, entirely braze the plates together with copper or nickel brazing, diffusion bond then pressure form plates and bond etched, passage plates.

Most methods of welded-plate manufacturing do not allow for inspection of the heat-transfer surface, mechanical cleaning of that surface, and have limited ability to repair or plug off damage channels. Consider these limitations when the fluid is heavily fouling, has solids, or in general the repair or plugging ability for severe services.

One of the previous types has an additional consideration of the brazing material to consider for fluid compatibility. The brazing compound entirely coats both fluid's heat-transfer surfaces.

The second type, a Compabloc (CP) from Vicarb, has the advantage of removable cover plates, similar to air-cooled exchanger headers, to observe both fluids surface area. The fluids flow at 90° angles to each other on a horizonal plane. LMTD correction factors approach 1.0 for Compabloc just like the other welded and gasketed PHEs. Hydrob-lasting of Compabloc surfaces is also possible. The Compabloc has higher operating conditions than PHE's or W-PHE.

The performances and estimating methods of welded PHEs match those of gasketed PHEs in most cases, but normally the Compabloc, with larger depth of corrugations, can be lower in overall coefficient. Some extensions of the design operating conditions are possible with welded PHEs, most notably is that cryogenic applications are possible. Pressure vessel code acceptance is available on most units.


Description The spiral-plate heat exchanger (SHE) may be one exchanger selected primarily on its virtues and not on its initial cost. SHEs offer high reliability and on-line performance in many severely fouling services such as slurries.

The SHE is formed by rolling two strips of plate, with welded-on spacer studs, upon each other into clock-spring shape. This forms two passages. Passages are sealed off on one end of the SHE by welding a bar to the plates; hot and cold fluid passages are sealed off on opposite ends of the SHE. A single rectangular flow passage is now formed for each fluid, producing very high shear rates compared to tubular designs. Removable covers are provided on each end to access and clean the entire heat transfer surface. Pure countercurrent flow is achieved and LMTD correction factor is essentially = 1.0.

Since there are no dead spaces in a SHE, the helical flow pattern combines to entrain any solids and create high turbulence creating a self-cleaning flow passage.

There are no thermal-expansion problems in spirals. Since the center of the unit is not fixed, it can torque to relieve stress.

The SHE can be expensive when only one fluid requires a high-alloy material. Since the heat-transfer plate contacts both fluids, it is required to be fabricated out of the higher alloy. SHEs can be fabricated out of any material that can be cold-worked and welded.

The channel spacings can be different on each side to match the flow rates and pressure drops of the process design. The spacer studs are also adjusted in their pitch to match the fluid characteristics.

As the coiled plate spirals outward, the plate thickness increases from a minimum of 2 mm to a maximum (as required by pressure) up to 10 mm. This means relatively thick material separates the two fluids compared to tubing of conventional exchangers. Pressure vessel code conformance is a common request.

Applications The most common applications that fit SHE are slurries. The rectangular channel provides high shear and turbulence to sweep the surface clear of blockage and causes no distribution problems associated with other exchanger types. A localized restriction causes an increase in local velocity which aids in keeping the unit free flowing. Only fibers that are long and stringy cause SHE to have a blockage it cannot clear itself.

As an additional antifoulant measure, SHEs have been coated with a phenolic lining. This provides some degree of corrosion protection as well, but this is not guaranteed due to pinholes in the lining process.

There are three types of SHE to fit different applications:

Type I is the spiral-spiral flow pattern. It is used for all heating and cooling services and can accommodate temperature crosses such as lean/rich services in one unit. The removable covers on each end allow access to one side at a time to perform maintenance on that fluid side. Never remove a cover with one side under pressure as the unit will telescope out like a collapsible cup.

Type II units are the condenser and reboiler designs. One side is spiral flow and the other side is in cross flow. These SHEs provide very stable designs for vacuum condensing and reboiling services. A SHE can be fitted with special mounting connections for reflux-type vent-condenser applications. The vertically mounted SHE directly attaches on the column or tank.

Type III units are a combination of the Type I and Type II where part is in spiral flow and part is in cross flow. This SHE can condense and subcool in a single unit.

The unique channel arrangement has been used to provide on-line cleaning, by switching fluid sides to clean the fouling (caused by the fluid that previously flowed there) off the surface. Phosphoric acid coolers use pond water for cooling and both sides foul; water, as you expect, and phosphoric acid deposit crystals. By reversing the flow sides, the water dissolves the acid crystals and the acid clears up the organic fouling. SHEs are also used as oleum coolers, sludge coolers/heaters, slop oil heaters, and in other services where multiple-flow-passage designs have not performed well.

Design A thorough article by P.E. Minton of Union Carbide called "Designing Spiral-Plate Heat Exchangers," appeared in Chemical Engineering, May 4, 1970. It covers the design in detail. Also an article in Chemical Engineering Progress titled "Applications of Spiral Plate Heat Exchangers" by A. Hargis, A. Beckman, and J. Loicano appeared in July 1967, provides formulae for heat-transfer and pressure-drop calculations.

Spacings are from 6.35 to 31.75 mm (in 6.35 mm increments) with 9.5 mm the most common. Stud densities are 60 X 60 to 110 X 110 mm, the former the most common. The width (measured to the spiral flow passage), is from 150 to 2500 mm (in 150 mm increments). By varying the spacing and the width, separately for each fluid, velocities can be maintained at optimum rates to reduce fouling tendencies or utilize the allowable pressure drop most effectively. Diameters can reach 1500 mm. The total surface areas exceed 465 sqm. Materials that work harder are not suitable for spirals since hot-forming is not possible and heat treatment after forming is impractical.

spacing h X spac

0 0

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