Typical applications of plate heat exchangers include Oil Cooling, HVAC, Food & Beverage, Petrochemical plants, Power, Pharmaceutical, Dairy, Marine, etc. Due to their large surface area, plate Heat Exchangers have a high heat transfer rate compared to other types of heat exchangers. They are made of a set of composed thin metal plates called ‘plate pack’ and hold by two pressure plates. To understand how this type of heat exchanger works just imagine that the fluid paths alternate between plates allowing the two fluids to interact, but not mix, several times in a small area. Plates are corrugated to increase the surface area and maximize heat transfer.
Types of Plate Heat Exchanger:
Gasketed Plate and Frame Heat Exchanger
These types use high quality, precision gaskets that are designed to seal alternating patterns of thin plates together which allow the heating and cooling fluids to pass each other in a counter flow configuration. The plates can easily be removed for cleaning or replacing purposes, dramatically reducing maintenance costs. Plates can also be added to increase thermal performance or reduce pressure drop.
Plate and Frame Heat Exchangers can have large amounts of effective heat transfer surface in area in a small footprint. Usually a plate and frame heat exchanger has the same thermal capacity as a five times larger Shell and Tube heat exchanger.
Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers
Standard Brazed Plate heat Exchangers are constructed with 316 Stainless Steel with copper brazing materials to provide exceptional corrosion resistance. These type of heat exchangers features corrugated plates that produce highly turbulent flow in a true counter-current direction which results in high efficiency and a very compact heat exchanger design. Due to the smaller size and reduced material content, Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers can be the most economical heat transfer choice if the application suits.
Welded and Semi-welded Plate Heat Exchangers
A Welded Plate Exchanger is similar to a gasketed Plate and Frame Heat Exchanger except Welded seams replace the gasketed seals allowing this exchanger to be applied in applications of high temperatures and pressures. Corrugated plates produce highly turbulent flow in a true counter-current direction. This results in high efficiency and a very compact heat exchanger design. Due to the smaller size and reduced material content, they can be the most economical heat transfer choice in applications where gaskets are not acceptable.