Thermal Processing Compact Heat Exchanger Resists Fouling

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Thick and dirty process fluids can clog heat exchangers and cause costly downtime in a variety of industry sectors. Alfa Laval has engineered a family of heat exchangers that can help. Designed specifically for handling media with coarse particles, fibers and solids, the Wide Gap100 gasketed plate heat exchanger from Alfa Laval reduces complications due to fouling by using wide distances between plates and highly turbulent flow.

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The Wide Gap 100 gasketed heat exchanger for media containing coarse particles
The Wide Gap 100 gasketed heat exchanger for media containing coarse particles
(Picture: Alfa Laval)

The device is less susceptible to fouling because its wide channels allow dirty fluids to pass freely through the heat exchanger without clogging. The heat exchanger also has a herringbone corrugation pattern to encourage high turbulence, which not only reduces fouling, but enhances heat transfer.

It is suitable for use in a wide range of heating, cooling and heat recovery duties in industrial applications where dirty fluids are common, including fuel ethanol, bio-based chemicals, pulp & paper and wastewater treatment. With a port diameter of 100 mm, the heat exchanger is the smallest wide-gap heat exchanger on the market, according to Alfa Laval. It is designed for applications requiring small flows, and is compact in size.

Because it is a plate heat exchanger, the device has higher thermal efficiency than many heat exchangers that are based on alternative technologies. The heat exchanger uses a counter-current flow pattern that, when combined with the turbulent flow, results in a close temperature approach, the company says. The Wide Gap100 uses Alfa Laval's Clip Grip gaskets, which are designed for maximizing uptime and facilitating maintenance. These gaskets allow quick and glue-free mounting due to the company's patented attachments.

The Clip Grip gasket design prevents gaskets from creeping out of their grooves, and avoids plate pack misalignment and leaks, the company says. Therefore, the consumption of spare parts is reduced and the time for re-gasketing is similarly minimized. Alfa Laval's Wide Gap 100 heat exchanger complements the company's related products, the larger 200 and 350 models.