A plate heat exchanger is a type of heat exchanger that uses metal plates to transfer heat between two fluids.
The plate heat exchanger has a major advantage over a conventional heat exchanger as the fluids are exposed to a much larger surface area of the thermal plates. This facilitates the transfer of heat and greatly increases the speed of the temperature change.
The plate heat exchanger was invented by Dr Richard Seligman in 1923; his invention revolutionised methods of indirect heating and cooling of fluids.
The plate heat exchanger is a specialized design well suited to transferring heat between medium- and low-pressure fluids. The plates used in a plate and frame heat exchanger are obtained by one piece pressing of metal plates. Stainless steel is a commonly used metal for the plates because of its ability to withstand high temperatures, its strength. In the Goldfields of Western Australia most heat exchangers are fitting with titanium thermal plates because this material offers excellent corrosion resistance.
The plates are often spaced by rubber sealing gaskets which are clipped or glued into a section around the edge of the plates (gasket grooves). The plates are pressed to form troughs at right angles to the direction of flow of the liquid which runs through the channels in the heat exchanger. These troughs are arranged so that they interlink with the other plates which forms the channel with gaps of 1.3–1.5 mm between the plates. The plates are compressed together in a rigid frame to form an arrangement of parallel flow channels with alternating hot and cold fluids. The plates produce an extremely large surface area, which allows for the fastest possible transfer. Making each chamber thin ensures that the majority of the volume of the liquid contacts the plate, again aiding exchange. The troughs also create and maintain a turbulent flow in the liquid to maximize heat transfer in the exchanger. A high degree of turbulence can be obtained at low flow rates and high heat transfer coefficient can then be achieved.
The plate heat exchanger is made up of a frame, which consists of a head, follower, column, carrying bar, guiding bar, and a number of clamping bolts. In between the head and follower a varying number of pressed plates are clamped together.
Supply of New Heat Exchangers
LogiChem, as the recommended supplier of heat exchangers in the Goldfields for the past 13 years has a wealth of knowledge on the best heat exchanger for your application.
Superior thermal plates for your heat exchanger
Choosing the right plates for your plate heat exchanger is a key factor in making sure you receive maximum working life from your unit.
Superior choice of gaskets for your heat exchanger
As essential as the plates in the heat exchanger are the gaskets. The correct choice of gasket characteristics is crucial to the effective operation of the heat exchanger unit.
With the majority of heat exchanger gaskets being manufactured from perishable rubber polymers, they require regular replacing as the gaskets lose the ability to seal the heat exchanger as they harden and deteriorate with age. We supply gaskets in polymers such as NBR, HYD-NBR, EPDM and Viton the choice depends on the model and duty of your plate heat exchanger
We work closely with the gasket manufacturers to ensure that the gaskets we supply will perform to their best. The gaskets we supply need to be :
- Able to hold their shape. The gasket rubber needs to be able to be squeezed and then return to its original vulcanised shape.
- Strong enough to withstand the forces normally incurred after being squeezed into position and being acted upon by pressurised liquid
- Strong yet soft enough to conform closely with the heat exchanger plate gasket grooves.
- Able to resist fluid. The high molecular weight and cross linked polymer matrix is resistant to penetration by any fluid of a dissimilar chemical nature to itself.
- Resist the high temperatures in the heat exchanger.
- Long lasting. Many modern synthetic polymers are advanced in terms of a longer usefulness over the older materials. However all rubber based compounds suffer from stress relaxation. The initial sealing force declines during use and this in turn allows leaks to occur.
Servicing your heat exchangers
LogiChem has gained vast experience with a variety of heat exchangers as well as the environment and processing conditions particular to the West Australian Goldfields region. With this knowledge we are able to tailor every heat exchanger servicing job to the best advantage of the client. Each heat exchanger is returned to the client not only looking like new but working like new too.