Extended Surface Design of Roped Tube, Finned Tube and Integron Tube Coils and Exchangers
Economisers and Waste Heat Recovery; Steam Tube & Heat Pipe Superconductor Devices
Heat Transfer Design of Marine, Rail, Aerospace and Industrial Plant & Equipment
TEMA Shell & Tube Custom Exchangers, Condensers, Evaporators and Calorifiers

Heat Exchangers: Plates or Tubes?

The broad scope of thermal engineering is reflected in this website, whilst the maths and physics underlying basic heat transfer design apply to any surface heat transfer operation.

Plate exchangers have gained steadily in popularity since their introduction in the 1960s. Early problems with plate manufacture and gasketing hindered take-up, and it was some time before users became reconciled to relatively high pressure losses and difficulty of cleaning compared with shell-and-tube equipment.

Choice of type depends on duty rating, available stream pressure drops, the fluids flowing and fouling considerations with respect to heat transfer design considerations. Compared with PHEs, the tube-side of a typical volume-production shell exchanger such as manufactured by E.J.Bowman offers low resistance to flow and is reasonably easy to clean. Whilst sometimes possible to flush in situ, cores should preferably be removed for steam- or chemical-cleaning of the shell side tube surfaces.

There is no clear cross-over at which one type of heat transfer design may be favoured against the other, although Shell & Tube exchangers for process applications can be designed onto extreme pressures in both streams. This pattern of construction and practical heat transfer design has really only lost-out to plate exchangers in the mid range, where plate arrays are built-up on adjustable frames. We design all types of tubular exchanger to PD5500, ASME VIII, EN286, Lloyds and B.V., whilst PHEs are manufactured by specialists to our specifications.

Capacity and Workscope - Typical completions in the Heat Transfer Design sector:

Re-engineering of Class 158 DMU HVAC systems for Metropolitan-Cammell
Large steam condensers and sugar boiling pans for Tate & Lyle
Fuel Oil Heaters and Recuperators under contract to the DTI
Heat Transfer Design of manufacturing processes for PERA
Marine economisers for Senior Green