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Why You Need A Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger ?

Shell and Tube heat exchangers have long been the heat exchanger of choice by chemical processing plants that have the need to heat and/or cool chemicals in their daily process.

Shell and Tube heat exchangers are more dependable than any of the other vast array of heat exchangers that these chemical processing plants must choose from. Unlike the very popular gasketed Plate and Frame heat exchangers, there are very few gaskets to worry with as opposed to the plate and frame heat exchangers that have dozens if not hundreds of expensive gaskets. Quite often, the gaskets for these heat exchangers are more expensive than the heat transfer plates themselves. With a limited life cycle of the plate gaskets, the cost to replace these gaskets quite often approaches the original cost of the entire heat exchanger. Plus, it is not uncommon to need to replace these gaskets every 2 to 3 years. That original low price that was paid for these types of heat exchangers in now negated by this sudden cost.

The Shell and tube heat exchanger, with only 4 or so total gaskets, offers a much longer life span than the other types of heat exchangers available. Shell and Tube heat exchangers are typically much more rugged and can handle much harsher operating conditions such as higher temperatures, higher pressures, and more aggressive fouling fluids with the ever-present solids embedded in the process stream. The other heat exchanger types will quickly foul and/or plug with the presence of these in the process stream resulting in vastly reduced heat transfer performance yielding lower process output. Overzealous, heavy handed plant mechanics very often can and will do mechanical damage to the more fragile other types of heat exchangers. The more rugged Shell and Tube heat exchanger will prevent them from inflicting that kind of life ending mechanical damage to the heat exchanger. Despite their good intentions, plant mechanics will inflict mechanical damage to these more fragile heat exchangers as they simply do not understand the mechanical limits of these fragile heat exchangers.

 

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