Nonmetallic Heat Exchangers

Another growing field is that of nonmetallic heat exchanger designs which typically are of the shell and tube or coiled-tubing type. The graphite units were previously discussed but numerous other materials are available. The materials include Teflon, PVDF, glass, ceramic, and others as the need arises.

When using these types of products, consider the following topics and discuss the application openly with experienced suppliers.

1. The tube-to-tubesheet joint, how is it made? Many use "O" rings to add another material to the selection process. Preference should be given to a fusing technique of similar material.

2. What size tube or flow passage is available? Small tubes plug unless filtration is installed. Size of filtering is needed from the supplier.

3. These materials are very sensitive to temperature and pressure. Thermal or pressure shocks must be avoided.

4. Thermal conductivity of these materials is very low and affects the overall coefficient. When several materials are compatible, explore all of them, as final cost is not always the same as raw material costs.

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