A replacement to shell and tube heat exchanger can be done by using plate heat exchanger in food and chemical industries; it gained the attention of design engineers due to its advanced properties like flexibility, high efficiency, low maintenance cost and lesser periodic maintenance operation during it running. It can handle gas and liquid phases so it is replacing shell and tube heat exchanger of distillation column and absorber towers. Due to its design the heat transfer coefficients can be obtained as the function of superficial velocities of the streams.
In situation where a heat exchanger is required to handle closer temperature difference between hot and cold stream than first option was given to plate heat exchanger only by which it over come other heat exchanger due to its uniform residence time function. Mixed phase flow of stream are successfully handled and obtained satisfactory results during experimental runs.
Small possible heat exchanger for domestic purpose can be as plate heat exchanger to provide hot water from solar water heating system. Due it compact design and bolting options make it easy to clean and fix it back without a expert technician one easy do the operation following the manual provided by the manufacturer. Gaskets between each plate work as seal and prevent streams form mixing each other, based on the application gaskets are changed from asbestos to food grade if it used in clean room of food processing or pharmaceutical industries, even they are obtained as acid and alkali proof to prevent from corrosion.
Fouling and scaling problem in heat exchangers will decrease it performance and increase the maintenance cost. This problem can be solved by plate heat exchanger it will because the deposit strength of calcium carbonate in water is reduced due to it channel flow pattern and geometrical structure. It is flexible enough that plate of the heat exchange system can be removed and fixed with new plates if the inner plates are damaged and even some extra plates can be add to the existing plate system if there is need to increase the surface and this is not possible in regular shell and tube heat exchanger because the tube and shell are permanently welded.
Plate frame heat exchangers excel spread sheet which give a relation between local heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop for water and hydrocarbon flow streams.