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Heat Exchanger Selection Guide

January 31st, 2022

Heat exchangers are used when heat must be transferred between two mediums. Knowing how to properly select a heat exchanger has great benefits.

Types of Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers can be classified into four primary types:

  • Shell and Tube
  • Plate and Frame
  • Gasketed Plate
  • Brazed Plate

Heat Exchanger Selection and Sizing

The first thing to consider is the function that the heat exchanger needs to perform, such as boiling or condensing. Next, you will need to know the pressure limits, which can vary during the process as the pressure around the exchanger drops. The approach temperatures and temperature ranges can also vary during the process.

You will need to be aware of the fluid flow capacity. Material requirements are also important. Conditions such as rapid changes in temperature or corrosive media often require special materials. If you use a gasketed plate heat exchanger, it is vital that the gaskets are compatible with the fluids that are in the unit.

When selecting a heat exchanger, you will need to know thermal fluid characteristics and product mix. If the cooling or heating fluid is susceptible to fouling, then you may need to use a material that is corrosion-resistant.

For exchangers that require steam, hot oil, or cooling water, the location is important. The heat exchanger will need to be relevant to the availability of such utilities. Layout and space limitations can have an effect on which heat exchanger you select. It is important to remember that lower approach unity typically correlates to bigger units.

Finally, you will need to consider maintenance requirements. It is often best to use a unit that is easy to clean, inspect, and repair. For more information on selecting the right heat exchanger, call us at Industrial Heat Transfer Inc. 608-452-3103.