PHE-7 Welded Plate Heat Exchangers: State of the Art

J. W. Palen

This report reviews the increasing use of welded plate heat exchangers in the hydrocarbon process industries. Unlike plate-and-frame exchangers, welded plate exchangers can be used at high pressures and temperatures with process fluids in situations when leaks must be prevented. These exchangers are now available for a wide range of process applications, including boiling and condensation; various plate designs match the service to the process requirements. Successful economic application is documented for the demanding two-phase feed-effluent exchanger service. A preliminary method for estimating heat transfer and pressure drop is used to compare a shell-and-tube exchanger with a welded plate design for a typical feed-effluent application.